Several homeowners from the upscale Windsor Estates on the East Bank of Demerara say they are disappointed with the quality of homes constructed by developer of the gated community, Navigant Builders Inc.
The homeowners on Thursday complained to Stabroek News about what they said was shoddy workmanship and inferior customer service. Some of the homeowners explained that their occupation had not gone beyond five years and they have already seen deterioration on their properties.
However, President and CEO of Navigant Builders Inc, Danny Sawh on Thursday refuted the claims.
He said “You go around and speak with some of the homeowners and you would see that is not the case. They are given a certain warranty on their houses and we do regular maintenance.”
Sawh provided no other response.
Resident Marva Parker on Thursday told Stabroek News that since she took up residence in the community she has had to spend money on renovations as she noticed defects in the building.
“We were given three months warranty but it was after the three months I noticed the defects,” she said.
According to Parker she first noticed the paint on the building fading and had to spend money to repaint the entire structure. On Thursday she showed reporters some areas where the paint had faded and pointed out that whenever it rains water would seep through the concrete walls.
“When the water comes in and stay the paint starts to raise up, we had to repaint the areas,” she said.
She further said that within a few years the tiles on her kitchen floor had raised up and she had to replace them. The problem is recurring but this time in the dining room. She also stated that the boards on a door frame had begun to rot and her ceiling is dripping as a result of the rain water seeping into the home.
She further pointed out that parts of her bedroom floor has also begun to rot.
Another resident, Aruna Budhram explained to Stabroek News that a few years after she moved into her house she had to carry out renovations to fix a mould situation.
“These homes have a lot of problem inside, my personal experience is I have had pipes break in the wall and damaged the internal walls and we had to cut open the wall because the mould started to grow and we had to fix it,” Budhram stated.
She added that her neighbours also had issues with the plumbing system. The pipe connecting the bath tub she said began to leak on the upstairs floor.
“There are so much issues we have had in the first few years and they haven’t listened to any complaints and people just said they would fix it… People have really spent money to fix these faults,” she contended.
On Thursday, Parker and other residents of Windsor Estates accused the developer of the community of seeking to victimise them after they protested an increase in their homeowners’ association fee.
The residents told Stabroek News that some of them decided to withhold the monthly fee to protest the increase, which they say is being charged for maintenance of facilities, including those that were promised but are not yet in place.
However, they said the decision resulted in management of the community barring some residents from using the main entrance.
A handful of residents on Thursday tried to enter the community using the entrance but they were denied access and told to use an alternate entrance. But residents refused, explaining that the alternate entrance, which is used by the contractors who are working on phase two of the housing development, is too muddy for them.
Parker said that with the contract she signed, they were required to pay a $10,000 per month fee that was only to be paid when all the amenities are installed. “But they had not installed the infrastructure and came to us to pay a fee even though the contract said the fee cannot be raised before two years,” she explained.
She stressed that they are currently seeking to raise the fee by 5% per annum, which must be paid in US or Guyanese currency at an exchange rate of $216 to $1.
“They want another raise. This is from the people who have not completed their part. But I went and took the fee with the whole 5% increase but they did not accept it,” Parker explained.
The company has said it refused to accept payment after refusal by the customer to adhere to the standard exchange rate being utilised by local commercial banks.
The residents explained that they decided to cease paying the monthly fee since October but it was only two weeks ago that they were barred from using the main entrance.