BUYERS of apartments at a new Juffair development have been told their keys will be handed over next month, after an almost one-year delay.
The 27-storey Providence Residence includes 126 apartments and was developed by Bahrain-based Aref Sadeq Consultants under its subsidiary Thawabit Properties.
Contracts state the apartments should have been handed over by September 30 last year, but investors say they are still waiting to receive their flats.
However, a sales representative told the GDN the property would be ready for handover next month.
“Sixty per cent of the property has been sold off, while we have one, two and three-bedroom semi-furnished apartments for sale from the 13th to the 15th floor,” said an IRIS Property Management Company representative.
“The apartments are as shown in the brochure in appearance, as well as in quality of the interior amenities, and customers are free to come and see the property.
“The building will be handed over to owners early next month.”
Buyers say they have put down more than 25 per cent of the cost of an apartment, which ranges between BD59,000 and BD130,000.
They said after missing the September 30 deadline the developer had a six-month grace period to hand over units, which expired in March.
However, they claimed a penalty clause that kicked in after the grace period ended has not been honoured.
According to the clause, the developer was bound to financially compensate each homeowner at a rate of BD300 for every additional month of delay.
“As per the agreement, Providence Residence should pay me BD300 per month if they fail to deliver during the six-month grace period which ended in March,” said one Bahraini investor, who bought a two-bedroom apartment.
“When I approached them, they refused to pay me and told me to file a case.”
He added he was not prepared to accept cancellation of the sale and the return of his deposit.
“I have taken loans and bought all the furniture,” he explained.
Another investor, from Saudi Arabia, said he was now considering legal action.
“I was promised a handover in October last year and the apartment shaped up to be nothing like what I saw in the pictures,” he claimed.
“I will take the issue to court.”
Meanwhile, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) said property developers, brokers and sales agents have until the end of this month to apply for licences, which are required to operate in the sector.
The government watchdog, which started operations in March, is tasked with protecting the interests of all stakeholders in the real estate market.
“There is time until the end of the month for any developers to regularise their operations, failing which we will be forced to take action,” said an official from RERA, adding that the watchdog would not comment on any specific case.
The developer could not be reached for comment.