legal

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

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

Management cannot stop foreigners from staying, says buyers association

  PETALING JAYA (Dec 3): The decision by the Alam Prima management in Shah Alam, Selangor, to state that foreigners are not welcome to stay at its units is irregular and morally wrong, according to the National House Buyers Association (HBA). HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong told The Malaysian Insider that the issue of prohibiting “foreigners” was unacceptable. “There are plenty of foreign-owned condominiums and resorts in Langkawi. They could retaliate by banning locals. There should not be any profiling,” he said. Chang said that there was no law from prohibiting foreigners from renting or staying at condominiums or other properties. “If any by-laws were passed at the condominium’s annual general meeting (AGM) then they must be consistent with the Strata Management Reg...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

Let the house buyers beware!

To not educate yourself and learn from the mistakes of others only sets you up to be at best, disappointed and at worst, being ‘house poor’ FOR many people, the purchase of a home is the most important financial decision of their lives. Therefore, it makes sense to approach the decision carefully. The purchase of a home is unlike any other consumer product as it covers a lot of ground – including legal, financial, technical and emotional considerations. To not educate yourself and learn from the mistakes of others only sets you up to be at best, disappointed and at worst, being “house poor”. Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware! The idea is that buyers take responsibility for the condition of the items they purchase, and should examine them before purchase. How true is this for the property...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

House buyers’ trap

  WHY does this keep happening to house buyers in Malaysia? This incident happened two years ago in Taiping where a laid-back community of mainly retirees found the roof over their heads nearly, and in some cases, actually, blown away. The purchasers had paid the developer and had moved into their houses and lived there for 10 years. Problem was that the purchasers paid the developers in cash remittance without taking out end-financing loans. Unknown to the purchasers, the developer did not pay the developer’s bank to settle the developer’s loan vide bridging loans. The developer’s charge remained and grew into bigger indebtedness to the bank. Apparently, the developer’s bank had not been collecting payment of the loan from the developer, even as the developer was collecting the insta...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

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

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