A judge at the Federal High Court has ordered Country Club Developers (CCD), a luxury real estate company, to finish and deliver six disputed housing units within a month.
The ruling was passed in the latest session held early last week, when Mesele Haile (PhD), general manager of the company, was summoned to the court to explain why his company failed to deliver the houses to the judgement creditors. Though the six creditors have won a fierce battle to receive the houses, the company did not hand over the units to them.
Mesele, who appeared with his lawyers, explained to the court that the company only failed to finish the final details of the homes due to the forex crunch. Mesele founded the company with his partner in 2002 with a registered capital of 20 million Br.
After hearing his reason, the judge stated the company should adhere to the court ruling, and it should finalise and deliver the homes by equipping them with kitchen taps, exhaust hoods, boilers, gates and water and electric utilities by February 14th, 2019. CCD was also ordered to deliver title deeds of the homes, which are located in Legatafo, 11Km northeast of the capital.
The case went to the Execution Court after being closed at the Court of Cassation. Initially, it was brought to the court eight years ago by six discontented home buyers who bought houses from CCD between 2006 and 2007 with a price range of between 1.7 million Br to 3.1 million Br.
The home buyers claim that the developer terminated their agreements as they did not accept the price revision made by the management of the company. Originally, the company promised to deliver the houses in a year and a half period it however, it later hiked the finished price by half a million Birr after mentioning inflationary pressure on construction materials, claimed the home buyers.
Six out of the 1,000 home buyers refused to pay the amended price, which aggravated the dispute between the management of the company and the home buyers. Finally, the developer terminated the agreement of the six home buyers, who subsequently took the case to the Federal High Court, where they got a favourable ruling.
Displeased with the ruling of the High Court, CCD appealed to the Supreme Court stating that the lower court had made a fundamental error of law in passing judgement in favour of the home buyers. However, the Supreme Court sustained the lower court's ruling, after which the case was subsequently sent to the Court of Cassation, which again favoured the home buyers.
Two years ago the home buyers stepped in to execute the judgement. After hearing the case and the litigation, the Execution Court ordered the company to deliver the houses in 16 months and hand over the homes to the creditors in November 2017.
Almost a year after the final deadline the home buyers again appealed to the court stating that CCD did not hand over houses to them in the indicated time. In the session that was held two weeks ago, the two lawyers of the real estate firm explained that the forex crunch had limited them from delivering the houses.
The home buyers petitioned that the Court summon Mesele and order the company to deliver the houses along with title deeds and pay them 1.8 million Br in compensation for the loss of income, rent or otherwise that they may have received had they been able to take possession of their homes in the time and manner stated in the initial contract.
In the latest session held last Monday, the judge ordered the company to furnish the houses and deliver them to the home buyers. The judge also adjourned the case to February 14, 2019, to make sure whether the company adheres to the ruling.
PUBLISHED ON Jan 19,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 977]
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