Law

Pre-requisite condition for licensing of a housing developer

It is noteworthy that the Housing and Local Government is providing further protection to house buyers against the antics of irresponsible developers. The recent amendments to the Housing Development Act comes to mind. One of the most pertinent clause that was amended is Section 6(1)(b) of the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966. The matter refers to the amendment to the requisite deposit, which is refundable, from the current RM200,000 to 3% of the construction cost. Small developers who build small number of houses in the smaller towns and where total construction cost is RM2mil or less, the RM200,000 that they are currently forking out actually represents over 10%. Therefore, for them the new 3% is actually a vast reduction! To a big project developer whose construct...Read More

Plight of kampung land owners

Where’s the prosecution against the 205 unlicensed housing developers? BUYERS BEWARE BY CHANG KIM LOONG ABOUT two years ago, an English daily highlighted the plight of land owners who had entered into joint ventures with unlicensed developers to build houses on their (home owners’) land. Most of these deals involved land in the kampung (or villages). When these partnerships turned soured and were subsequently highlighted in the press, the Housing Ministry warned it was going to catch these businessmen, most of whom were small-time developers out to make a quick buck. However, until today, no action seems to have been taken on these errant developers while the victims continue in their miseries and financial nightmares due to abandoned projects and botched joint ventures. The Housing Minist...Read More

Not all apartments are the same

CALL them what you like – small office home office (Soho), small office flexi office, small office versatile office, condotel, hotel suite or butler serviced apartment. The names are coined by housing developers with creative plans to woo investors with enticing marketing tools on yet-to- be-built stratified properties. Where people used to buy an apartment unit/parcel for a roof over their heads, of late, so many other styles have crept up to boggle the minds of investors and buyers. However, for the uninitiated – not all apartments are created equal. Although the sales and marketing brochures may look alike, the small prints will tell you the difference, if you care to take a magnifying glass to inspect. Then again, for the first-timers, they are unlikely to spot the difference. This art...Read More

Making it legal

  Addressing the issue of unsanctioned extensions to the kitchen, porch and upper rear floor SCENARIO A: I bought my terrace house some 20 years ago and I didn’t know that I have to obtain building plans for my extended kitchen. Scenario B: Waste of time to legalise the balcony that was created on-top of the car porch. After all, I am selling my house to migrate. Scenario C: All my neighbours have the same illegal extension to their kitchen without the five feet setback. We just copied them. What should I do then? Scenario D: We have obtained the approved building plans from the local council but didn’t procure the Certificate of Compliance and Completion (CCC) from our architects. We are not sure whether the contractors built according to the plans. But, our architects have not issue...Read More

Leakage – A strata living nightmare

IF you live in a high rise building and have an inter-floor leakage issue, you can be rest assured that you are not alone. Inter-floor leakage is without a doubt one of the biggest problems faced by many dwellers of high rise buildings. Whilst the leakage may appear only in a particular parcel, the source of the leakage may lie in the parcel above or even elsewhere. The cooperation of more than one party is therefore required; without which one cannot even begin to identify the problem, let alone solve it. Two issues must be identified when there is an inter-floor leakage. Firstly, the source of the leakage and secondly, the person or body responsible for repair or rectification. Who is supposed to identify the source of the leakage to start with? The person or body responsible of course, ...Read More

Is the Housing Tribunal effective?

  Scenario A: You want to file your claim at the Housing Tribunal? Aiyah, better not lah, waste of time only. My friend filed his claim two years ago. Until now, still cannot get his money. You better go to court. Scenario B: But very expensive if go to court. The lawyer says my case must go to the magistrates’ court, and you know how much he wants to charge? RM5,000! On top of that, he says RM5,000 does not include filing fees and travelling. Worse still, he says he cannot guarantee I will get my money. Where I got money to pay the lawyer, the developer delayed my house for so long. I told the lawyer he can deduct from the money the developer has to pay me, but he says cannot. If the developer doesn’t pay I still have to pay his legal fees and expenses, he says. Where got justice? &n...Read More

HBA’s lawsuit obtains greenlight

Lawyers of the National House Buyers Association (HBA) have been granted the ‘leave of court’ to pursue the legal action against the Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) and Controller of Housing (CH). The lawyers, who have volunteered to represent buyers who have been denied rights to claim for the delay of a project in Kuala Lumpur, obtained the permission from the Appellate & Special Powers Division of the High Court to pursue Judicial Review proceedings against the decision of KPKT and CH on Palace Court, developed by BHL Construction Sdn Bhd. According to HBA’s secretary-general Chang Kim Loong, the class action was commenced by 71 aggrieved buyers against the granting of the Extension of Time (EOT) by the CH, which has denied unit owners the rights for...Read More

HBA takes legal action against KPKT

“Buyers of Palace Court suffered a delay in the delivery of their homes and the granted E.O.T. will now extinguish their compensation rights”, says HBA. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has declared that it will be pursuing legal action against the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (KPKT) with regard to a project called Palace Court in KL, developed by BHL Construction Sdn Bhd. The decision, said the association, is so it can challenge the existence of Extension of Time (EOT) issued by KPKT to the developer, which has denied unit buyers the rights for entitlement of compensation in the form of liquidated ascertained damages (LAD) for the delay in delivering vacant possession of purchased units. According to HBA’s honorary secretary-general Cha...Read More

Easing lending guidelines not the solution: HBA

PETALING JAYA: Relaxing banks’ lending criteria is not the solution to address the issue of access to affordable housing loans, said the National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Chang Kim Loong. “The current problem is that house prices are too expensive in relation to the buyers’ income. This has resulted in some prospective house buyers having their loan applications rejected. However, the solution is not to relax lending guidelines but to find ways to lower property prices. The relaxation of lending guidelines will surely worsen the situation and speed up the road to a ‘homeless generation’ that HBA has been warning about for years,” he told SunBiz, addressing the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association’s (Rehda) call for banks to be less strict in their lending ...Read More

Compliance with the law–Do it the right way from the onset

Office bearers and committee/ council members elected to serve the management bodies should indulge themselves; to educate and equip themselves with the intricacies of the legislation governing strata management vis-à-vis Strata Management Act, its Regulations and the usage of the related Forms as well as understand the scope of jurisdiction of the Strata Management Tribunal and the role and power of the Commissioner Of Buildings. Dealing with the maintenance charges and sinking fund is one of the most important and yet contentious functions of developer, Joint Management Body or Management Corporation (collectively ‘Management Bodies’) in a stratified development. In order to ensure that accountability and integrity are constantly upheld in the Management Bodies, the Strata Management Act...Read More

Compensation taken away by Housing Controller

AT the stroke of a pen, monies payable to a group of aggrieved house buyers are taken away by the Controller of Housing (Housing Controller). We are talking about a group of house buyers who had suffered losses due to a delay in completion of their homes by their developer and the very ministry that is supposed to protect them signed away their rights and remedies. We are talking about such rights and remedies being taken away from them for the benefit of the very culprit developer who caused them the loss and suffering. What is happening to the Housing Ministry? The ministry many an aggrieved house buyer turns to in times of developer defiance of the law, the ministry house buyers rely on for protection and for all the desperately needed interventions and assistance when a housing project...Read More

Affordable Housing Taskforce Is Needed, HBA

The authorities should establish a taskforce on affordable housing, according to Chang Kim Loong, Secretary-General of the National House Buyers Association (HBA). In a report by The Sun Daily, he said the role of this group is to gather data and create a database of low-cost homes that has been planned, completed, and those under construction. It is also responsible compiling statistics on available excess units. “The taskforce, comprising intelligent people, can also think of solutions on how to implement a rent-to-own (RTO) scheme for the middle income segment to assist them to own their dream homes,” said Chang. This body should comprise banks, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), federal government ministries, state economic agencies and government-linked companies involved in property...Read More

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