Block Residents Angry Over Delayed Land Titles

Thirty residents from Phnom Penh’s Borey Mohasethey housing complex gathered at the office of the property’s developer on Monday morning expecting to receive long-delayed land titles for their homes, but left empty-handed, the residents said.

According to residents, a letter sent by the developer in September and signed by the development’s owner, Neb Sovannarith, promised to deliver the land titles on Monday following a series of delays that they say stretch back three years.

“We gathered to demand that they issue land titles to us. It’s been too long,” said Chhay Eng, who purchased an apartment in the complex about a year ago.

“Some of us have been living here for 3 years, but they still haven’t issued the land titles,” Ms. Eng said.

Another resident, Veng Kong, said he was concerned about getting evicted.

“If we don’t have registered documents, [someone] could confiscate our property,” Mr Kong said. “He has lied all the time, he just wants to delay,” he said, referring to Mr. Sovannarith.

After gathering at the office in Russei Keo district’s Russei Keo commune, where the housing complex is also located, residents marched to the office of district officials to request help in resolving the matter, but were told to return this afternoon.

Mr. Sovannarith, the owner of the real estate project, said the delay in issuing the land titles was due to residents purchasing apartments at different times, and that they would need to wait until all of the apartments had been sold to receive their land titles.

“They bought apartments at different times, so we wait until they buy all of it; then we will issue certificates for all of them,” he said.

Mr. Kong, however, believed the remarks were just an excuse. “In the contract, it didn’t say that all apartments must be sold out. It’s just a delay.”

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