Gans may be hauled to court for staying put

A family that has refused to move out of a 39-unit condominium, sold en bloc in 2005 to property developer Sim Lian Group, may soon face legal action.

Mr Francis Goh, who is the director of Central Chambers Law Corporation, the law firm hired by Sim Lian Group, said that court papers were formally lodged in the High Court yesterday. This comes just over a week after the Gan family called the MediaCorp hotline about being left in the dark over the $50.53 million collective sale of their Lincolnsvale condominium at Surrey Road.

The en bloc sale process was conducted in an unfair and non-transparent manner that did not involve the family, alleged Mrs Gan Beng Cheng, who lives with her husband and two teenage sons.

But Mr Goh countered that representatives of the property developer “had tried to make contact with the family, but without success”.

“Hence, it had no choice but to take legal action,” he told Today.

Last week, Sim Lian Group unit, Sim Lian Land’s executive director Diana Kuik said that her firm completed the en bloc sale last October after getting approval from the Strata Titles Boards.

The condominium residents were given an April 10 deadline to move out so that demolition work could begin.

Four families had missed the deadline, but moved out the next day. Only the Gans stayed put.

One scenario is that the property developer is probably asking the High Court for an order for the family to move out of Lincolnsvale by a certain date, said a lawyer. It is likely that the court will grant the order, he observed, and the family will have to adhere to it, or risk paying a fine or even a jail sentence because then “you’re basically disobeying the court”.

Should matters reach such a stage, Sim Lian Group can enlist the court’s help to evict the family. But the lawyer pointed out that this rarely happens in Singapore.

Source: Today, 24 April 2007

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