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House buyers body tells developers: You are to blame, too

PETALING JAYA: Housing developers shouldn’t blame the authorities for houses being expensive as they, too, contribute to the inflated housing prices, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) said. Speaking to FMT, HBA honorary secretary general Chang Kim Loong agreed with the statement of the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) that government intervention was needed to bring down the prices of properties. Earlier, in a Malay Mail Online report, Rehda president Fateh Iskandar said that prices of homes were unlikely to drop without the intervention of the authorities as developers had to bear the costs of building utilities such as drainage, sewerage and roads. He also cited regulatory costs such as the new levy imposed on steel and land conversion costs by state gover...Read More

HGS akin to guaranteeing developers’ profit

THE first question the Government needs to face is why does abandonment of housing projects take place? The root cause is the lack of and lax in enfocement of existing laws. The National House Buyers Association (HBA) is deeply concerned that the Government proposes to set up a Housing Guarantee Corporation (HGS) purportedly to protect buyers and housing developers in the event of abandonment of housing projects by developers. What is more worrying is that the loss caused by abandonment is to be incurred by the Government. The Government will hold 70% equity in the HGS while the balance is held by private funds i.e. Rehda and government-linked agencies such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Tabung Haji. Lax and lack of enforcement The public who rely on legislations are often let d...Read More

Helping the poor own houses

BUYING a home is typically the largest and most complicated financial commitment most people will ever make”. This is the phrase used whenever there is talk of homeownership and it applies to low-income households, too. First-time buyers face many barriers, one of them being the burden of monthly payments, having enough savings to sustain the responsibilities of owning a house, and income stability to qualify for housing loans. Even if they do qualify, potential buyers may be hampered by a lack of affordable homes in a preferred location or even information on how to buy a home. While the basics of acquiring a home is accessible to the educated and higher-income group, the low-income households do not have access to such information and perhaps have no idea about how to become homeowners. ...Read More

HBA: Allow EPF to offer home loans to members

PETALING JAYA (June 19): The National House Buyers Association (HBA) is urging the government to allow the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to extend financing for home purchases – particularly of affordable units – to eligible members, reported Free Malaysia Today. Its secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said this proposal would help members who are unable obtain financing without forcing banks to relax their lending guidelines. “Our preliminary thoughts are for EPF to disburse 15 to 20-year loans to a member who has been contributing for at least five years and earning less than RM5,000,” he said. To prevent abuse, the homes will be subjected to a 10-year lock-in period, he added. “At the same time, to ensure the member still has some money for contingencies, the EPF can buy insurance with ...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 wants the BTS model for affordable houses

SHOULDN’T buyers of affordable houses be given more protection? Do they have lawyers to advise them? And act for them in court against dishonest developers? Are they expected to spend a lot of money pursuing their interests and entitlement? Even the reasonably well-off suffer because of the lopsided sale & purchase agreement (SPA) provided by the Housing Ministry and exploited by developers. HBA’s long campaign against the sell-then-build (STB) system should be vindicated in the case of buyers of affordable houses. The buyers of affordable houses are people of modest means, and deserve to be protected. BTS 10:90 vs STB The current STB system has caused abandonment and, worst, foreclosure of the purchaser’s property by the developer’s banks. The STB is the developer’s dream as it allows...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

HBA proposals for Budget 2016

THE National House Buyers Association (HBA) was invited to attend the annual Budget Consultation last Monday at PutraJaya International Convention Centre (PICC). This year’s theme was “Strengthening Growth, Enhancing Inclusiveness, Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”. Although HBA has submitted our proposals to the secretary-general of the Federal Treasury for next year’s budget to enable our Government to consider them from the house buyers’ perspective, we thought it necessary to bring this up at the public forum. Having accorded the usual salutation to our Prime Minister who is also the Finance Minister, we begin to describe Budget 2014 and 2015 vis-à-vis housing as an ‘excellent mathematical formula’ to curb the unbridled escalation of house prices, which has in the last five years skyrock...Read More

HBA applauds implementation of BTS policy by KPKT

KUALA LUMPUR: The National House Buyers Association (HBA) hails the announcement made by the Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin to ensure housing projects adhere to the build then sell (BTS) concept. According to the statement, the HBA supports the overwhelming benefits of the BTS 10:90 that the present housing minister is referring to. The system that was referred to is not an absolute BTS concept but a hybrid that the HBA termed as build then sell 10:90 (BTS 10:90). Briefly, in this system, buyers pay 10% down payment upon signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and the remaining 90% will be payable upon completion with the issuance of Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC), with utilities connected and houses ready for immediate occupation. This i...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

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

Strata Management Act: ‘Let there be light’

The Strata Management Act (SMA) though has received its Royal Assent on Feb 5, 2013 and gazetted on Feb 8, 2013 was inordinately delayed because of the governing Strata Management (M&M) Regulations as well as a host of other crossed referred laws in the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966 (amended 2012), its HD Regulations (amended 2015) and the new statutory Sale and Purchase Agreements. It finally was implemented by the Minister of Housing and thus came into operation on June 1, 2015. Maintenance & management – the new regime As the country enters a new era of democracy, all of us are beginning to realise the importance of information so that we can be aware of our rights, obligations and responsibilities. This is especially true for owners who are concerned a...Read More