Condo owners at Dairy Farm Residences are breathing a collective sigh of relief after the property developer, United Engineers, announced a significant reduction in maintenance fees. The revised fees, which are about 40% lower than the initial charges, were met with mixed reactions from residents, with some expressing relief and others still concerned about the overall cost.
Initial Fees Raised Concerns
In October, residents were shocked to receive their Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP) letters, which revealed maintenance fees that were more than double what was originally marketed. The marketing brochure for Dairy Farm Residences condominium listed estimated monthly maintenance costs for two-bedroom and most three-bedroom units between S$260 and S$280. However, the actual fees were closer to S$4,300 for six months, amounting to over S$700 per month.
For bigger units of three-bedroom and four-bedroom units, the monthly fees were more than S$850.
Property Developer Responds to Complaints
Following complaints from residents, United Engineers (UE) engaged with consultants, contractors, and the managing agent to review the maintenance fees. The developer acknowledged that the initial fees were too high and required revision.
Revised Fees Offer Some Relief
United Engineers received approval from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for the revised maintenance fees, which take effect immediately. It is slightly more than S$427 and S$513 for a month of maintenance fees based on the type of unit, inclusive of 8% GST.
Residents have the option to request a refund for the excess amount they paid or have the excess amount offset against future maintenance charges.
While some residents expressed relief over the reduced fees, others remained concerned about the overall cost and how it might impact services at the development. They called for more transparency from the property developer regarding the calculation of the initial fees and the items covered by the revised charges.
Overall, the reduction in maintenance fees provides some relief to Dairy Farm Residences owners, but concerns about the overall cost and service quality remain.