Housing estates the biggest headaches

Housing estate projects have topped consumer complaints over the past six months, according to the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB). OCPB deputy secretary-general Niroth Charoenprakob said the office has been flooded with complaints lodged by 2,977 consumers over the past six months, with 992.64 million baht in damage caused to consumers.

Most complaints, or 49.11%, were directed at housing estate projects. There were four major problems involving contract violations, including delayed ownership transfers, substandard houses, failure by developers to keep promises made in advertisements or agreements and developers' refusal to return deposits and down payments to homebuyers whose loan applications were rejected.

''There have been complaints that homebuyers found their houses began to subside after they moved in.

''The foundations of the houses were substandard.

''Some complained that their housing estate projects had no facilities as mentioned in the contracts or advertisements,'' said Mr Niroth.

Another major problem facing many homebuyers was the refusal of developers to return their deposits after their qualifications failed to meet requirements for loans. The developers took the deposits and sold the houses to other buyers.

In this case, the OCPB found that the seizure of rejected homebuyers' deposits and down payments showed a lack of business ethics by those developers, he said.

In many cases, developers could sell the houses to new buyers.

Many buyers could not transfer ownership of the houses because the developers had mortgaged the land or were not the real owners.

Other complaints received by the office were problems regarding low-quality goods and services.

He said 773 complaints, or 25.97%, were about substandard cars and poor services by mobile phone operators, child and elderly care centres and fitness clubs. Bangkok Post.