Property Development

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

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

PR1MA now chasing profit, not helping first-time owners, says house buyers’ group

(April 20): PR1MA Corporation Malaysia (PR1MA) has strayed from its objective of building affordable homes in urban localities and instead has become profit-oriented, going into joint ventures with private developers, the National House Buyers Association (HBA) said. Its secretary-general, Chang Kim Loong, said the corporation under the Prime Minister’s Office has relaxed many of its housing requirements and allowed private developers to come in as joint venture partners. “We know these private developers are profit-oriented and they are not there to do charity. Therefore, why should PR1MA share their cake with them?” Chang said it has increased the ceiling price of a house from RM350,000 to RM450,000 last year and allowed second-time buyers to purchase PR1MA units. “The ...Read More

New government, new hope for Malaysian property market?

Pakatan Harapan’s policies and programmes as outlined in The People’s Manifesto provide great anticipation for homebuyers, developers and investors alike. If done right, these strategies will go a long way in curbing the housing affordability conundrum.  The 14th Malaysian General Elections (GE14) on 9th May 2018 will go down in history as one of the most memorable days for millions of locals nationwide. The majority voted in favour of the opposition alliance to serve as the country’s new government – the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition trumped Barisan National (BN), which has been in power for 6 decades. We are all excited to see how PH will bring forth positive change; the new government has promised a reformation of Malaysia’s administration and politics as well as sustainable growth and...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

Malaysia’s property market in 2016: What to expect & predictions

INDUSTRY EXPERTS Warrick Singh Director of Business Development/Training of Asian Realty Sdn Bhd, Asian Land Auctioneers Sdn Bhd/Starfish Training Sdn Bhd  As we move into 2016, the ‘cloud of uncertainty’ hanging over the Malaysian economy would settle somewhat preceding several recent capital measures, such as the purchase of Malaysian bonds, intra-trade in Chinese Renmimbi instead of US Dollar and the offer of RMB50 billion of a protected Chinese capital market. Also, the development of the LRT/MRT lines which enhances connectivity to Greater Klang Valley including Seremban, Rawang and Klang will bode well for the residential and commercial property market. Malaysia generally has a young population where 80% of Malaysians are below the age of 50, which means the demand for houses is only...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

One abandoned housing project too many

Ministry: 134 abandoned private housing projects in three years. A total of 134 abandoned private housing projects were recorded in Peninsular Malaysia between 2013 and November, 2016, according to Deputy Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique in reply to a question in Dewan Negara Dec 6, 2016. She said the number included 26 abandoned projects this year. The government has allocated RM20mil to revive abandoned private housing projects next year. She, however, noted that next year’s allocation is less compared with the RM40mil this year. Scenario A: “Our sheer bad luck to buy into an apartment that has now been declared as ‘abandoned’. We have to continue to service the interest to the bank especially when the bank has progressively released...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

New doesn’t mean perfect

Complaint One “I received the keys to our home and to our dismay, the property had many defects, ranging from minor problems to major misalignment of the walls and beams. The developer is rectifying the minor defects but is not willing to ‘align’ the walls or beams that have been placed improperly. How can I have the process for rectification expedited as we have paid in full and are still unable to occupy the house?” Complaint Two “The floor tiles in my apartment’s living room are not properly fixed. When one walks over them, they give a certain hollow sound. There are at least 30 floor tiles with this problem. Also, the edges of the walls where the tiles meet were not properly done. I submitted a complaint form, but the developer has not done anything to rectify them. Now, it’s been almo...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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