News Column

Judge Sides With New Flowers Homes On Claim Amendment

June 10, 2014

Fasika Tadesse

The charge was filed after homebuyers refused to pay the tax outlined in contracts with the real estate company

The judge at the Federal First Instance Fifth Commercial Bench, Sitayehu Zeleke, has accepted the amended charge by Habitat New Flowers Homes Plc against 85 homebuyers claiming over 50 million Br in unpaid taxes.

The real estate Developer first filed the suit to the First Instance Civil Court Lideta division on April 14, 2014, requesting that the court assign arbitraries to resolve the disagreement of the two parties, claiming that 84 homebuyers had refused to pay taxes.

According to the charge, Habitat and the homebuyers signed a deal which says the real estate developer agrees to construct and deliver houses to the buyers in different designs, and the home buyers agree to pay the total cost of the construction along with taxes.

Habitat's charge claims that all of the homebuyers refused to pay the tax, while the Company asked them orally and by paper several times to make the total payment. Additionally, some of the homebuyers built the houses not in accordance to the designs they were provided by the real estate developer; this led to further disagreement, says the charge.

Following the disagreement with the homebuyers, the real estate developer sent a letter requesting that the defendants select a mediator for the settlement of the dispute, but they refused, claims the charge.

Habitat requested that the court organise a panel of arbitrators and arbitrary judges who could solve the dispute among them, according to article nine of the general agreement, which was signed between Habitat and the homebuyers.

After the real estate developer filed the suit on April 14, 2014, the hearing was meant to be held on May 12, 2014, but on that day the plaintiff asked to amend its charge by adding additional defendants and removing certain individuals who agreed with the idea of arbitration.

During the court session, held on Tuesday June 3, 2014, the lawyer of Habitat, Belete Tassew, submitted the amended charge, which deducted three individuals from the first charge and added four additional individuals.

The lawyer of the defendants, Arega Tsega, claims that the amended charge also included an additional claim where the court allowed an amendment on the list of the defendants only.

But the lawyer of Habitat, Belete, said they did not insert an additional claim, but on the newly amended charge the tripartite agreement variation, which was signed between the defendant and the real estate developer, was included as additional evidence.

After hearing both sides, the judge adjourned the case for the next day to give ruling ether to accept the amended charge or to reject it. On the next day, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, the presiding judge, Sintayehu Zeleke, accepted the amended charge and ordered the case to proceed.

Sintayehu also ordered the defendants to submit their statement of defence on June 26, 2014, before the oral proceeding will take place on June 30, 2014.

Habitat New Flower Homes Plc was established in 1999 by nine shareholders, with an authorised capital of 1.2 million Br. The Company is a real estate developer. Berta Construction Company is a contractor of the real estates and is supervised by the developer.

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Source: AllAfrica

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