SINGAPORE: Disputes over maintenance fees have cropped up at two more condominiums, with residents being charged as much as 65 per cent more than what was initially marketed.
Last month, CNA reported that Dairy Farm Residences owners were hit with maintenance fees that were more than double the amount they expected to pay. Following complaints from residents, the developer cut the fees by about 40 per cent.
Residents of Parc Komo at Upper Changi Road North contacted CNA about a similar rise in their fees. The freehold mixed-use development has 276 residential units and was completed in June.
Maintenance fees – which go towards the estate’s upkeep and amenities as well as one-off costs such as repainting and lift replacement – are paid by all condo owners, and are typically higher at projects located in prime districts or for larger units within the same development.
At Parc Komo, the fees were initially marketed at between S$327 (US$246) for a one-bedroom unit and S$522 a month for a five-bedroom home.
But when residents received their Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) letters from developer CEL Development, the maintenance fees they had to pay were up to 65 per cent higher.
One resident in his 40s had bought a two-bedroom unit for which the estimated monthly fee was S$392. However, he ended up paying S$646.
“For a two-room (unit), to pay such a high maintenance is like buying a luxury condo,” said the resident, who did not want to be named.
He said residents were told by the developer that the rise was due to inflation. A five to 10 per cent increase would have been expected, he said. “But when you have a more than 60 … per cent increase, it’s a little bit hard to swallow.”
Another resident, who wanted to be known as Ms Tay, bought her three-bedroom unit in 2021. While it is understandable for fees to rise due to inflation, the rise was “higher than expected”.
The facilities at Parc Komo do not warrant the amount of maintenance fees residents had to pay, she said.
“I’m paying about S$646. My friends and relatives who have high-end condos in Orchard … maybe they are also paying just slightly more or similar rates,” said Ms Tay, who is also in her 40s.
“I feel that because this is not really a high-end development … You shouldn’t have this kind of fees.”