Friday, October 14, 2011

Celestial Heights SUCKS (Part 1 of 3)

After raving about our magnificent balcony and awesome facilities at Celestial Heights earlier this year, I am now totally eating my words.

During the typhoon in April while we were away on holidays in Melbourne, our helper told us bricks started falling into our back balcony. She showed me the pieces and we had management come over to take pictures and scratch their heads as to why it was happening. At first I wasn't too concerned because we rarely go to the back balcony. But since our helper does the laundry there, we asked for a hard hat from the contractors to protect her head. There was a brick that fell once with such force that it left a hole in the metal divider separating our unit with our neighbors. Had it fallen on someone's head or a pet, both would definitely be dead.

This is the hole that was left by the impact of the falling brick.

 This is the metal divider between us and our neighbor. Notice all the other smaller dents beside the mother dent.

A few weeks later a gondola, like the one they use for window cleaning was put up and they started checking every brick covering the facade of our building, tapping on each one to check that they are not loose and replacing the ones that are. They only removed the gondola 2 weeks ago! I can only comment on the gondola being removed as I have to admit I am not confident with how thorough they were with checking the bricks.

But then in June, bricks started falling in our front balcony! The management office was called again and the kids were permanently removed from the balcony. The kids didn't complain much because we left from the States in July. I told the management people we would be gone for a whole month so they have lots of time and full access to deal with the problem. Of course July came and went, we came back and NOTHING was done.
It is now mid-October. There is an ugly green net covering our whole balcony. There is bamboo scaffolding blocking our windows which reaches up all the way to the top floor. There is scaffolding crap everywhere. People have started throwing rubbish onto the green netting. There are worker clothes hung on the bamboo poles, empty drink bottles scattered randomly and our things are piled up against our balcony door since the scaffolding is taking up all the sheltered space.

In addition to the balcony drama, we are also being over taken by roaches!!! And these are not small piddly things. These are at least 2 cm big ones! Every night, its not a matter of if we will see one, but when, where and how many. The worst place one has appeared is on our BED. The most number that have appeared is 6 in one evening. And the worst time one had appeared is in the middle of the day when all the kids are in the living room. We have sprayed, cleaned, bleached and covered all our food. But they still keep coming. We have also found out we are not the only unit with this problem. Turns out many of the other flats are having the same problem. Some say they even have roaches in their closets!

And just as we thought things couldn't get worse, we just found out today that our balcony is completely flooded underneath the wooden flood boards! Some of the boards have already started to rot, that is why some parts are starting to slump. And we were just wondering why that is. Of course management was called again and guess what? They can't locate the drains!!! They are going to send a different group of monkeys tomorrow with the floor plan to find the bloody drains and figure out what is going on.

I am only sharing what is happening with our flat and not going into the whole other drama of actually dealing with the management office. Our landlord has been very helpful and is also helping us deal with them. She has already threatened the management company that she will bring this to the press if things do not get resolved asap. We are demanding compensation and so far this whole mess is making my blood boil.

If you live in Hong Kong and are looking for a place to live, DO NOT CHOOSE CELESTIAL HEIGHTS! I knew there had to be a catch when rent here was much lower than anywhere else!

UPDATE (Oct. 26, 2011): A few days ago, we discovered the wooden floor boards underneath the decking is not even weather proof! Sure, the wooden decking of the balcony is weather proof, but the whole layer underneath that supports the whole decking is not! That is why our balcony is caving-in in different parts. There's the genius of the guys at Cheung Kong for ya. Yeah, let's save some money and NOT use water/weather proof boards underneath since no one will see it anyway!