Building and Common Property Act

The Follies and Foibles in Community Living

Gunaprasath Bupalan – www.property360digest / www.malaysiaglobalbusinessforum.com / www.newshubasia.com Taking a break from its usual serious and educational writings, in this segment, HBA has decided to air its funny bone and show what tickles HBA. A friend once told me that reading HBA’s articles on all things housing is like being immersed in a ‘horror housing series’ of the brutally honest kind. Words like ‘unscrupulous developers’, ‘irresponsible authorities’, ‘abandoned projects’, ‘perpetual renters’, ‘homeless generations’ strikes such terror in her heart that even the most haunted of ghost stories cannot rival its effects. But, I guess HBA tells the truth that housing developers refuse to hear and face as reality but shun such truths as spreading gloom and doom. A question wa...Read More

Rising assessment rates and your rights

Zero engagement, public relations exercise non-existent THE simple, routine exercise of a property revaluation in the city of Kuala Lumpur has somehow turned controversial due to the lack of apparent justification, given the magnitude of the increase and scarcity of explanation. Perhaps, the people in Government think there is no need for some form of elementary public relations and that having power is enough. There was practically no public engagement, consultation or attempt to seek feedback from stakeholders. If such a simple task as revaluing the properties in Kuala Lumpur cannot be carried out diligently and in a responsible manner, I am concerned with the impending introduction of the more complex goods and services tax (GST). Will the levy and collection of the GST be properly hand...Read More

Rectifying a leak in strata living

IF you live in a high-rise building and have an inter-floor water leakage issue, you can rest assured that you are not alone. Inter-floor leakages are, without a doubt, one of the biggest problems faced by many dwellers of high-rise buildings. Building technology has progressed over the years and we can build high-rise buildings that can withstand earthquakes with seismic engineering, be fire-resistant with comprehensive fire prevention measures and green buildings with energy and water-efficient measures. Sadly, however, we do not have any provisions in building codes to look into an issue that bothers many building owners and occupants – a water leakage. Following my article that was published in the StarBizWeek Buyers Beware column on Aug 22, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) ...Read More

Questioning DBKL’s move on KLites

Justifying the proposed assessment rate hike THE media has reported that two former mayors – Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail and Tan Sri Elyas Omar – have questioned the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on its proposed assessment rate hike. Ahmad Fuad, predecessor to the current mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, pointed out that he had raised reserves amounting to RM3bil prior to retiring last year. This means Ahmad Phesal inherited RM3bil when he took over. Ahmad Fuad reportedly said that DBKL must provide a detailed budget for 2014, with a breakdown of how much money was needed and how it would be spent. Elyas, meanwhile, noted that DBKL had “bigger revenue compared to what it had 30 years ago”, adding that there was no need to increase rates “even by 10%”. DBKL must be selective and make a di...Read More

Purchasers’ risk in progressive payment

THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) has complained to the Minister and those under his charge about purchasers becoming victims when they lose their homes as a result of foreclosure proceedings taken against them by banks to recover loans taken by developers secured by purchasers’ houses bought from the same developers, because the said developers did not settle the loans taken by them. The crux of the problem is that the Housing Ministry-prescribed sale and purchase agreement (SPA) allows the developer to build the purchaser’s house with the instalments of the purchase price paid by the purchaser from the day the SPA is signed. On top of this, and even more seriously, the developer is allowed to borrow from the developer’s banks on the security of the purchaser’s property. The pur...Read More

Malaysia’s errant developers still not afraid

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — No amount of new laws against offences committed by property developers will be effective without strict enforcement, said the House Buyers Association (HBA) today. This comes as the Housing and Local Government Ministry moved to propose amendments to the Housing Development Act 1966 to impose stiffer penalties against developers of abandoned housing projects. HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said tougher enforcement of laws was needed to deal with errant developers without which the new laws would remain “ornamental pieces”. “Wayward developers well know that their chances of getting away with their wayward deeds are extremely good,” he said in a statement. He called on the authorities to act against developers “without fear or favour”. He also said that while ...Read More

Malaysian housing developers ignoring freebie guidelines

SOME seven months after more cooling measures were introduced, home prices continue to inch up as developers prefer to offer rebates than price their products lower. Many appear to be not abiding by guidelines on “freebies”. Some banks are also still basing their financing on the sales-and-purchase agreement (SPA) price rather than net selling price, a survey by the national House Buyers Association (HBA) has found. On a more positive note, except for one small developer, the projects surveyed by HBA volunteers did not offer the easy financing developer interest bearing scheme (Dibs), which the government had banned from this year. Brochures and other materials gathered by volunteers at various property fairs, however, indicate that many developers – even the bigger ones ...Read More

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

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

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

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

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