regulation

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

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 it the developer, the contractor, the local council or the house-owner?

  THE collapse of a slope deep in the jungle does not concern house-owners, nor do landslides along our highways or roads. They just cause a bit of inconvenience to road users. The Government deploys men, machinery and money to get the road cleared as quickly as possible so traffic can flow again. It is different with the slope, which is (usually) at the back of a house. The house-owner did not build it. It came when he bought the house, designed by the developer with the approval of the local council. Because it is in his compound – or because he will be affected by it in the event of a collapse – the house-owner is responsible. But in reality, is it as simple as that? It is more than a matter of money, it may also involve lives. The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) in ...Read More

Damages for late delivery

Addressing and defining vacant possession. “MY new house is ready and I can now collect my keys,” or so the house-buyer thinks. No more having to pay rent. But his dreams come crashing down, however, when he is informed that although he may have gained vacant possession, he cannot not move into his house because the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) is not ready. Months later, he receives a copy of the CFO, and when he asks to be compensated for the delay, the developer says liquidated damages for late delivery (liquidated ascertained damages or LAD) is calculated up to the date of their notice for delivery of vacant possession and not up to the date of the CFO. Who then is to compensate the house-buyer who has to service a housing loan for a house he or she is not allowed to occ...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

BUDGET 2017 COMMENT The National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary general Chang Kim Loong

The National House Buyers Association (HBA) acknowledges the challenges faced by our honourable Prime Minister (PM) in tabling Budget 2017 on Friday, 21st October, 2016 in view of the slowdown in the global and regional economies and also the steep drop of the Ringgit. We are grateful that out PM did not heed the advice from business groups with vested interest to relax some of the cooling measures announced previously to stem excessive speculation such as lowering the Real Property Gains Tax or re-introducing the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme for first time house buyers. We are indeed glad that a ‘status quo’ (an existing state of affair) was retained through the wisdom of our PM. The positive take from Budget 2017 in relation to property, in particular Affordable Home are as follows:...Read More

Addressing abandonment issues

ALTHOUGH the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966 (HDA) has been tweaked and fined-tuned on numerous occasions in the past, it has still not been able to address the issues of abandonment. The amendments to Housing Development (Control & Licensing) were tabled in Parliament and debated, received its royal assent and was gazetted on Feb 2, 2012. Its implementation was inordinately delayed because of the governing HD Regulations, 2015 (HDR) and a host of other crossed referred laws that related to strata management and maintenance. It finally was implemented by the Housing Minister and came into operation on June 1, 2015. But has the amendments to the principal legislation and its governing regulations with a new set of sales & purchase agreements plugged some of t...Read More

Act 242 – The proposed Register of Property Managers

A BILL was tabled in the current session of Parliament on 1.8.2017 for its First Reading and subsequently on 3.8.2017 for its Second and Third Readings. It is titled RANG UNDANG- UNDANG – D.R 26/2017 – Bill to amend the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act, 1981 (Act 242). The proposal by the Ministry of Finance to amend the Act primarily was to substitute the principal Act to read “Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act, 1981” to give clarity that the legislation covers aspects of ‘property managers’ and its proposed Register of Property Managers amongst other issues. Readers could download the proposals from: http://www.parlimen.gov.my/ Pertinent Points to Note The National House Buyers Association (HBA) is in support of the Bill to amend the Valuers, Appraiser...Read More