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Published: Friday January 3, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday January 3, 2014 MYT 1:37:24 PM

Steep price to pay for 'bullying' neighbour

A “BULLYING” couple ended up forking out more than S$22,000 (RM57,034) out of their pockets in a legal battle with a neighbour after they asked him to transform their property into an English country-style home like his.

Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Ng Boo Han, in his 40s, and his wife, Audrey-Ann Koo Oi Lian, in her 50s, knocked on the door of retiree Edward Teo Boon Hiang around Christmas 2010 to ask about his house-builder.

They were so impressed with his self-renovated property that they said they wanted to rebuild their single-storey corner terraced home into a similar double-storey house.

The couple said they had a budget of S$350,000 (RM908,072) from which Teo could draw a wage of S$17,500 (RM45,368).

The neighbours signed a two-page agreement in which the couple gave the 61-year-old a free hand to reconstruct their house.

But a year later, their relationship turned sour when a dispute arose over renovation works.

Teo sued them for S$89,000 (RM230,799), which he said they owed him for his work and extra tasks they had demanded he carry out.

The couple counter-claimed almost S$200,000 (RM518,492) for rectification work, accusing Teo of failing to complete the project.

However, in decision grounds released last month, District Judge Loo Ngan Chor called the couple “unsatisfactory witnesses”.

Loo allowed the couple S$25,000 (RM64,831) for defects after Teo replaced the non-conforming zinc roof with clay tiles.

But, he awarded Teo S$35,000 (RM90,807) and S$12,000 (RM31,133) for legal costs plus expenses incurred in the suit on top of this.

The couple appealed against the decision.

After six days of hearing, the judge was not convinced by the couple’s claim.

Loo said: “I was convinced that the defendants were in fact flim-flamming the plaintiff and were squeezing him for more.” — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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