FROM ANDREW DRUMMOND, BANGKOK
November 17 2011
The outgoing President of a Pattaya Rotary Club reacted with vengeance today after allegations that he scammed scores of foreigners out of their homes, and cheated them on rents.
63-yr-old Richard Haughton ordered water and electricity to be cut off from residents from his Lake Villas project in Pattaya and also the removal of water and electric meters.
The residents had refused to pay maintenance and other fees for Haughton's company, Thailand Property and Media Co.Ltd., - TPME. They claim little maintenance has been carried out and they had a meeting planned for December 3rd to vote him out of the project - and out of their lives.
Haughton, they said, had demanded that they pay all of next year's maintenance fees up front.
The Chairman of the Lake Villas Owners Associaton Ramesh Lal said from the UK: 'This is obviously an act of desperation on Haughton's behalf.'
Not all the residents are involved. Police attended the scene early today and left after saying there was nothing they could do.
Ironically one of those affected was the administrator of Haughton's Thailand and Property Media Exhibition Co. Ltd website, who commented earlier on this site.
Residents say that there are several children among the families affected, who were renting the properties through Pattaya Realty Co. Ltd.
Les Bonner, the Pattaya representative of the LVOA said: 'We are looking at the legal aspects of what he has done. '
Cutting off water and electricty is a common ploy used by dodgy foreign developers in Thailand, who after they sell the properties try and retain control over the projects through the management committees and often charge extra high fees for water and electricity, which they control through their own metres.
A master at this trade was Dingeman Hendriske a Dutch developer. You can read about him here at 'Gangland Britain in Thailand'.
The Pattaya Consumer Protection Office has asked Haughton to report to them or a warrant will be issued for his arrest.
Meanwhile Richard Haughton is also demanding a 25,000 reconnection fee. Not a bad profit for his thugs who would bel lucky to have earned 1,000 each. In this case the residents say they had bought the metres themselves. If that is the case Haughton is on the wrong side of the law.
Resident of Lake Villas and Representative of Lake Villa Owners Association to Richard Haughton:
Having checked all of my paperwork this morning I have a receipt from you showing that I purchased meters from you.
They are my own personal property and they have been stolen by your staff on your instructions.
This is making a very difficult situation considerably worse and could,in fact,spell the end of Lake Villa.
I am speaking entirely for myself here and I would ask you to reconsider before this business escalates out of control.
Richard Haughton Lake Villas Owners Association:
The time has run out for dialogue, your LVOA has not made any effort to encourage it members to respond to the payment of outstanding fees. The reconnection charge will be 25,000 Baht plus the full 2011/2012 maintenance fee in advance. You may take what ever action you want but the fact remains you owe these sums and with the advent of recent communications via your association you have further undermined your own position.
Comment:Mr.Haughton plays the role of an English gentleman. The letters above however seem to suggest otherwise.
Original letter sent by Ramesh Lal:
Another eventful day at Lake Villas!!
I am informed that Electric and Water Meters for Certain Units at Lake Villas have been removed, and today an incidence took place when water to all units was switched off from the pump-house. This has resulted in almost all tenants placed there by Pattaya Realty (Ian Cousin Company), leaving for alternative accomodation. This situation helps no-one, least of all the already tarnished image and reputation of TPME /Richard Houghton. TPME on-site staff,and especially, Site Manager Jo, were un-co-opertive and indeed exacerbated the situation. I am told the Police was once again involved.
As you very well know, the meters were paid for by Owners ( at exorbitant mark-up prices) and as such remain their property. There have been complaints made previously against TPME staff at Lake Villas, in particular Jo, the site Manager. You have failed to address these concerns to the satisfaction of Owners and indeed may have encouraged this latest action. These ongoing confrontations will not enhance TPME and your reputation to encourage a speedy payments of the due Maintenance Fees.
Further, you have failed to provide a satisfactory standard of maintenance and even failed to address the shortcomings and concerns of many Owners (including those who have not been paid members of LVOA). In short, the vast majority of Owners have lost confidence in the management/maintenance provided by TPME, and yourself in particular. I understand that you and TPME have problems with other developments also, and your inactions with the concerns of Owners at Lake Villas will eventually result in Lake Villas "going to the dogs". The vast majority of Owners regret their association with TPME/ Richard Houghton after seeing the value of their investment decline so rapidly. I suggest it would be best you cease any further Management/Maintenance of Lake Villas and let some one else be given the task of salvaging and acting in the best interests of the Owners. Best if this was done amicably!
For the incidence in-hand, please investigate the matter OBJECTIVELY and provide an explanation as to how you intend to ameliorate this occurrence. Pending that, LVOA will seek to mobilise all Owners and seek legal advise to remove TPME as the Management and Maintenance Providers at Lake Villas.
RAMESH LAL (Chairman LVOA)
Clarification: Richard Haughton was the President of Pattaya-Jomtien Rotary Club 2010-2011