June 19, 2024


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Crystal clear contracts important to averting household renovation nightmares, Hong Kong purchaser watchdog warns

a man wearing a hat: Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog is advising homeowners to reach clear terms on payments and repairs when hiring contractors. Photo: Getty Images

Hong Kong’s customer watchdog is advising property owners to access very clear conditions on payments and repairs when choosing contractors. Photograph: Getty Images

Hong Kong’s consumer watchdog has warned homeowners and contractors to set apparent conditions for managing problems and payment to prevent highly-priced disputes, as it uncovered a handful of renovation-linked horror stories ranging from shoddy function to alleged bathroom sabotage.

There ended up 124 complaints about residence renovation functions in the initially 11 months of the 12 months, down 16 for every cent from 148 in the exact interval in 2019, but continue to a fairly high determine, the Client Council reported on Tuesday.

Victor Lui Wing-cheong, vice-chairman of the council’s investigate and screening committee, pressured that shoppers must achieve a consensus with renovation providers in progress when it arrived to preparations for fixing defects and errors.

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“Should really there be any variations, incompletion of work items or extra prices incurred thanks to products or other motives encountered during the renovation, both parties should affirm the alterations in created kind, and if the venture is acquiring near to completion, a defective performs rectification checklist really should be jointly organized to stay away from subsequent disputes,” Lui reported.

a man and a woman standing in front of a laptop: Hong Kong's consumer watchdog received 124 complaints about renovations in the first 11 months of 2020. Photo: Getty Images

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Hong Kong’s purchaser watchdog obtained 124 problems about renovations in the initial 11 months of 2020. Photograph: Getty Pictures

In one particular of the nameless grievances submitted to the watchdog, set up personnel were suspected of undoing some of the renovation perform just after a payment dispute with the consumer.

In February, the corporation gave the shopper a quotation of about HK$210,000 (US$27,090) to renovate their entire flat about a 60-working day period of time.

The consumer inspected the flat in early June and observed the doorway of the washroom was unique from what she experienced requested for. On the other hand, the renovation firm purportedly refused to make any improvements right until she settled the ultimate HK$40,000 of the monthly bill.

A couple times afterwards, the flat proprietor identified that the metal gate of her flat had been locked with a chain that had to be taken off by a locksmith.

Within, she was shocked to find that numerous doorways experienced been taken off, and some of the light-weight switches and sockets experienced been eliminated, leaving the wires uncovered. The rest room was also clogged.

She suspected the renovation organization had sabotaged the flat, and lodged a grievance with the Consumer Council. She was also contemplating in search of suggestions from police more than the incident.

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In a different scenario, a complainant threatened to request HK$70,000 in payment by way of civil motion towards a renovation organization that refused to take care of the flaws in a custom made-designed home furniture order.

The buyer experienced employed the corporation to make, among the other matters, a lifted system with storage and an electric powered adjustable espresso desk for the dwelling space. The enterprise explained the challenge would price all around HK$430,000 in the deal.

Having said that, the closing products experienced issues with the gears in the coffee table, dents on the bookshelves and scratches on the marble tiles in the toilet.

The complainant alleged that the renovation enterprise requested to be paid ahead of correcting the defects, and when the property owner tried out to obtain a distinctive contractor to deal with the botched function, the quote exceeded the remaining balance on the primary task.

One homeowner accused a contractor of trashing her flat after a dispute over payment. Photo: Getty Images

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A person homeowner accused a contractor of trashing her flat immediately after a dispute more than payment. Photo: Getty Photographs

A further client filed a complaint following a renovation organization bumped up the price of a flat makeover – two times – in spite of quite a few problems with the get the job done.

The purchaser experienced signed a agreement in Might with a renovation business to resolve up her flat at a cost of HK$860,000. The renovations began in July, but the enterprise issued the consumer two new quotations in September and November, inevitably achieving around HK$900,000.

The value rises ended up notably unreasonable in gentle of the reality that the business allegedly applied the mistaken tiles and botched the set up, leaving the flooring uneven. It also failed to set up all of the electricity switches and fluorescent lights she had asked for in the agreement.

Through conciliation with the Client Council, nonetheless, the renovation corporation in the long run agreed to resolve the issue by lowering the exceptional equilibrium from HK$130,000 to HK$40,000.

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This short article originally appeared on the South China Early morning Post (www.scmp.com), the foremost news media reporting on China and Asia.

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