Housing Development Act

A layperson’s guide to all things STRATA

Gunaprasath Bupalan – www.property360digest.com / www.malaysiaglobalbusinessforum.com / www.newshubasia.com Many of you living in apartments, condominiums, town houses and SOHO (small office home office) would probably be familiar with the term ‘strata’. We read and hear of terms such as ‘strata title’ and ‘strata properties’. The word ‘strata’ is actually the plural word for ‘stratum’, which according to most dictionaries such as the Cambridge Dictionary can mean ‘one of the parts or layers into which something is separated’. In Malaysia, ‘strata’ generally refers to individual units of your homes within multiple levels of floors of your high or low-rise properties, which are constructed upwards i.e. vertically. Strata properties can also be within horizontal layers within gated and...Read More

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

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

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

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

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

Full-disclosure by developers

THE National House Buyers Association seems to have finally succeeded in persuading the Government to make developers provide purchasers with a full set of detailed approved documents of the property. In fact, this has all along been a legal requirement. As far as landed properties are concerned, the approved layout plan and the approved building plan are to be included in the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) as the first schedule and second schedule respectively. With respect to the strata titles, there are the site plan, layout plan, floor plan of the parcel, storey plan of the building, accessory plan and common facilities plan, all approved, which comprised the first and second schedules. The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry has now agreed with HBA that the detai...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

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

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