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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS
(2001)

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Educating housebuyers on their rights  01/05/2001 NST
Property and Investment Deal 2001 (PAID) is the first property fair to have the support and participation of the House Buyers Association (HBA) Organised by Messe Lingk (M) Sdn Bhd, the PAID 2001 roadshow was launched by last Friday by Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Senator Datuk M..Kayveas at Subang Parade.

Solution to home ownership woes 01/05/2001 MM
The House Buyers Association (HBA) stands as a beacon for purchasers who find their homes far from satisfactory. Their primary objective is to create a level playing field between the developers and the housebuyers, writes Devasahayam Selvan.

Setting his house in order  01/05/2001 MB
ONE OF the first things that Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did on assuming the chairmanship of Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd (SPN) on Aug 1, 2000 was to initiate change. He changed the logo, formulated a concrete set of objectives and defined the company's focus. Being at the helm of a company entrusted with building comfortable homes for the lower income group in the country is no easy task. But Zahid got straight down to business, incorporating his vast and valuable experience in the banking and corporate world into SPN.

Menang to focus on project after revamp 02/05/2001 BT
PROPERTY developer, Menang Corp (M) Bhd will concentrate on developing its Seremban 3 project after completing its corporate restructuring exercise within the next three months. Its group managing director, Datuk L K Shun hopes the corporate restructuring exercise would be completed by July, so that the company could embark on its 320ha township development project. After the completion of the corporate exercise, Shun said Menang expected sales from its housing projects this year at RM37.4 million, contributing some 35 per cent to its revenue.

No right to exist 04/05/2001 NST-PROP
THE problems plaguing the owners of about 1,100 condo units in the Venice Hill Condo and Golf Resort project in Ulu Langat, Selangor, has been further exacerbated with the recent discovery that the project is illegal as it sits on agricultural land. In order to undertake development, a developer is required to pay a land conversion premium to the relevant local authority prior to commencing construction. In Venice Hill's case, that was to have been done prior to 1992 - some nine years ago - but until today, the premium for the 20.55 ha site has yet to be settled.

Strata living standoff 04/05/2001 NST-PROP
WARNING: reading e-mails the first thing in the morning could ruin your mood for the whole day, especially if the subject is the sore issue of paying for stratified property maintenance, written by a Doc Esvee of Petaling Jaya. No hello, no pleasantries. Doc's immediate demand was that I take a stand, in a tone akin to a Boot Camp commandant. Are you for the developer, or the long-suffering owners, he demanded to know.

Defect buster at large 04/05/2001 NST-PROP
THE rate at which we are building and the steps we have taken to encourage homeownership are unfortunately, not matched by any corresponding effort to ensure that the homes we buy are free of defects and fit for living. In many cases, buyers are not in a position to spot or notice anything other than the most obvious of defects. So what commonly transpires is that the initial joy of at owning a home is marred by the appearance of defects that if the buyer is unlucky, happens after the expiry of the defect liability period.

Building for balance 04/05/2001 NST-PROP
IF you happen to be familiar with the Kelana Jaya area in Petaling Jaya, you would agree that the area has evolved tremendously over the past three decades. It is a mature well-planned township containing business centres, amenities and a comprehensive transportation infrastructure, not to mention residential estates with a conducive living environment that holds an attraction for secondary property investors. You may or may not be familiar with the fact that much of the responsibility for the area's development was given to Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), the development arm of the Selangor state government, which was also commissioned to create the state's new capital, Shah Alam, more than three decades ago.

Defects in his new apartment  04/05/2001 MM
PUA bought an apartment in Pangsapuri Kenanga, Puchong, from the first owner last June, and moved in a month later. Since then, he has discovered a number of defects in the unit.

Report progress or risk jail 04/05/2001 NST-PROP
DEVELOPERS have been given a final warning to submit progress reports on their projects and financial standing to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government or face a fine or jail sentence.

30 lodge reports against developer  06/05/2001 The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Some 30 purchasers of houses at a project at the 18th kilometre, Jalan Cheras, lodged police reports against the developer yesterday for allegedly cheating them of their deposits.

Could you please wait for 15 years ... 07/05/2001 MM
THE endless waiting of 500-odd would-be apartment owners of the City Homes apartments in Medan Duta is passing into legends. For, it never took off, nor are there any signs of it being revived. In what seems to be a uniquely infamous case of its kind, the ill-fated 514 prospective house-owners booked their houses way back in 1986 after paying the 20 per cent down payment. The houses were then priced between RM45,000 and 80,000 at 1986 prices.

`Low-cost' condominium 07/05/2001 MM
THE posh housing project was trumpeted as among the first condominium living in the city. But after 11 years, some residents of Palm Courts in Brickfields feel they are living in `low-cost flats'.

Condo dwellers show ire  09/05/2001 NST-CITY
RESIDENTS of Palm Court Condominium in Brickfields, displeased with the attitude of the management company and poor maintenance services, showed their displeasure by holding a peaceful demonstration last Saturday. Residents occupying the 676 units joined in the demonstration, led by the Palm Court Owners and Residents Association committee members.

Amendments to give Strata Title Board more legal bite 09/05/2001 MM
RESIDENTS in high-rise buildings will soon be able to seek recourse for their grouses through the proposed Strata Title Board. Deputy Land and Co-operative Minister Dr Tan Kee Kwong said the functions of the board is similar to those found in Singapore and Australia.

Panel to review building bylaws 09/05/2001 The Star By V. Chandrasekaran
Gurun: The Uniform building Bylaws 1984 may be amended to enforce the optimum use of structural steel in buildings, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said yesterday.

Exemption of stamp duty on property ends on Dec 31 10/05/2001 The Star
THE exemption of stamp duty on purchases of property took effect on March 28 this year, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy.

Glad that auction is off 11/05/2001 MM
ABOUT 50 house-buyers are relieved. Reason: An auction at the Ulu Langat Land Office in Bandar Baru Bangi on a piece of land at the 18km Jalan Cheras yesterday was postponed indefinitely.

House-buyers lose deposits 11/05/2001 MM
A REAL estate negotiator who has gone missing is believed to have cheated many potential house-buyers of their hard-earned deposit money. The victims from suburban Klang Valley were first-time house buyers of three low-cost housing schemes in Taman Sri Puchong, Section 20, Shah Alam and Kampung Jawa, Klang.

Proper planning can help reduce service charge collection woes 12/05/2001 NST
THE Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 only sets out the legal framework for the maintenance of common property and the collection of service charges. It offers no prescription on how the common areas of a building are to be managed and maintained nor the services that ought to be provided. Neither does it offer any guidelines on the cost elements of service charges.

Company refutes allegations by residents 15/05/2001 MM
SOME residents liken Palm Courts condominium in Brickfields to low-cost flats because facilities are not up to the mark. Ramal Properties Sdn Bhd, the company which maintains the condominium, however, beg to differ.

Bukit Cerakah Development is now Puncak Alam Housing 16/05/2001 BT
BUKIT Cerakah Development Sdn Bhd, the developer for the Puncak Alam new township announced its change of name to Puncak Alam Housing Sdn Bhd yesterday. The announcement ceremony was officiated by Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk M Kayveas in Shah Alam.

Tackling woes of Sentul Raya buyers 16/05/2001 MM
SOME 400 people who bought into the Sentul Raya project have set their minds on three strategies in dealing with it. They have decided on negotiating, lobbying and legal action.

Service charges: What it's made up of 17/05/2001 MM-CLAS
THE convenience of strata living comes with a price. If you are lucky it is just the monthly service charge that you have to pay every month. But do you know exactly what the service charge you are paying comprises? Your sale and purchase agreement should give you an idea as to the common facilities available and the services being rendered in your development. Refer to the second schedule of your agreement for this. Based on this you will be able to ascertain if you are receiving the full complement as agreed upon by you and the developer.

Status quo to remain pending hearing of plaintiff's application 18/05/2001 The Star
A High Court yesterday ordered a geophysicist's application for an injunction compelling a developer to deliver vacant possession of his condominium unit to be maintained status quo.

Financing an illegal purchase 18/05/2001 NST-PROP
ON January 5, 2001 the Kuala Lumpur High Court handed down a decision which I think should be read by everyone involved in the housing industry, and more so by senior management in financial institutions. It is the decision of Kamalanathan Ratnam J. in Arab Malaysian Finance Berhad v. Chan Sai Mee 2001 2 AMR 1743, which has just been published in my favourite law report. If the name of the case does not ring a bell with you, how about the Venice Hill Condominium and Golf Resort project? Right, you have heard of it.

Making trust priority no.1 18/05/2001 NST-PROP
DEVELOPERS must make a concerted effort to erase the negative image in the industry caused by their errant peers in order to win buyers' confidence and trust.

Call for government to intervene 18/05/2001 NST-PROP
GOVERNMENT intervention to resolve the problems faced by house buyers because of errant developers is long overdue. Our report on the problems of the Venice Hill development (PropertyTimes, April 27) brought on a deluge of responses from readers/buyers the length and breadth of the country recounting the problems they face with their purchases.

Perak offers low-cost houses to victims of abandoned projects 18/05/2001 BT
MORE than 150 buyers of a low-cost housing project in Slim River, who are still waiting for their houses after 14 years, were offered similar units in Proton City, near Tanjong Malim, by the Perak Government. State executive counsellor Datuk G. Rajoo said in Ipoh yesterday they will be given a 10 per cent discount to purchase a three-room house priced at RM35,000 in a project to be undertaken by the Perak State Economic Development Corp (SEDC).

Where's the road reserve? 18/05/2001 MM
WHEN a developer stopped erecting poles for hoardings to announce a new project near Persiaran Syed Putra 5, off Jalan Syed Putra, many residents there were relieved. But when the developer started putting up poles again at a road reserve there last week, residents are now questioning City Hall for approving the building of several bungalows.

Move to revise National Housing Policy 18/05/2001 Business Times
The National Housing Policy will be revised to address the need to better match demand for and development of various types of residential properties, especially with regards to low-cost homes.

Auction called off at eleventh hour 19/05/2001 NST
THERE was relief among the eight buyers of Taman Lingkaran Nur houses in Cheras at the Hulu Langat Land Office on May 10 when a scheduled public auction of the land on which their units were to have been built was called off at the eleventh hour. The move to auction the 1.51ha leasehold site on which 107 single-storey terrace units were to be built in phase two of the project, was brought about by the chargee of the land, United Merchant Finance Bhd, to foreclose on the property because the developer, Saktimuna Sdn Bhd, defaulted in their instalment payments to the financier.

Ask builders for more time to secure loan, buyers urged 21/05/2001 The Star By Clarence Chua
KUALA LUMPUR: The House Buyers Association has urged buyers to ask developers for more time to secure a loan when buying property whose construction is underway.

New clause on end-financing in S&Ps soon 22/05/2001 The Star
Kuala Lumpur: It will soon be mandatory for sales and purchase agreements to have a clause telling purchasers to consult their end-financiers before buying a house. 

An end to strata property woes? 22/05/2001 MM-CLAS
CONDOMINIUM owners and perhaps even potential buyers of strata title properties wait with bated breath for the tabling of the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Bill. But given the history of the Bill that is meant to redress the problems of ownership and management of strata properties, owners and potential buyers will not be able to let out a collective sigh of relief just yet. The Bill that was supposed to have been tabled in Parliament as far back as in 1997, failed to make it to the Dewan Rakyat during its previous sitting at the end of last year. The current sitting of Parliament however did see the passing of the amendments to the Strata Titles Act 1985 which also goes in some way to alleviating the problems faced by this segment of the market. But until the Bill's passage through Parliament actually takes place, condominium owners and property managers will have to deal with the problems of managing the building the best they can. Though the efforts to draft and table the Bill is to be lauded, any delay only serves to emphasise the increasingly pressing need for it due to a higher occupancy of stratified units as land especially in land scarce urban centres. Coupled with a greater awareness of the need for such properties to be well-managed, delays will also accentuate the inadequacies of other existing legislation governing homeownership and property management.

No stamp duty for units bought from developers 23/05/2001 The Star
PENANG: Housebuyers will only be eligible for stamp duty exemption on properties if they purchase their units directly from developers. According to the Inland Revenue Board, the incentive only applied to transactions between purchasers and developers registered under the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda).

Getting housing policies right  24/05/2001 NST
House ownership and supporting the housing developers and related industries. In order to promote house ownership, the Government must recognise that the quality of houses and the price of the houses must be right.

Collapsed retaining wall still not repaired  24/05/2001 NST
RAWANG, Wed. - Several sections of a retaining wall in Taman Bukit Beruntung which gave way about three months ago - severely disrupting a monsoon drain's flow - have yet to be repaired. The monsoon drain which flows into Sungai Rawang, fronts a row of single-storey houses.

Close watch on project sites 24/05/2001 NST
KUALA KUBU BARU, Wed. - Developers in Selangor had better buck up. A newly-established task force will visit project sites weekly to ensure compliance with environmental mitigating measures. The task force can decide if a developer should pay for loss of property and other damage when floods or mudslides occur, said State Executive Councillor for Housing, Local Government, Squatters and the Environment Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Ahmad Dahlan today.

Sad state of Lumba Kuda flats 24/05/2001 NST-CITY
ENDLESS PROBLEMS ... there is a long list of problems faced by residents of Lumba Kuda flats in Johor Baru. If it is not the broken lifts, and vandalised telephone booths, stairways and walls or uncollected garbage, it is the clogged drains emitting unbearable stench.

Enforcement the key 25/05/2001 By Nicholas Mun
Legislation alone will not solve the problems of strata management.

18 peratus pembeli lewat terima rumah 25/05/2001 BH
KUALA LUMPUR, Khamis - Kajian Persatuan Pembeli Rumah Wilayah Persekutuan dan Selangor (HBA) mendapati, 18 peratus daripada 10,000 pembeli di negara ini lewat menerima rumah daripada tempoh dijanjikan manakala 17 peratus lagi tidak memperoleh= sijil layak menduduki (CF).

Lembah Subang flats needs council action  25/05/2001 NST-CITY
THE Petaling Jaya Municipal Council has yet to identify a suitable company to take over management services at the Lembah Subang low-cost flats. Three months ago, the council had announced that it had decided to relinquish managing the flats as it did not have sufficient manpower to supervise and manage services.

Proper enforcement will redress problems 25/05/2001 NST-PROP
THE proposed Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act eagerly awaited by property developers and parcel owners alike will only be effective in addressing strata property management woes if it is properly enforced. Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) president Datuk Eddy Chen Lok Loi said: "The concern is not whether the proposed Act can address management and maintenance problems. What is crucial is the enforcement of the Act."

Honestly folks 25/05/2001 NST-PROP
CREATIVE but honest advertisements for housing projects may soon become the norm once the Ministry of Housing and Local Government starts clamping down on developers who put in ambiguous and non-factual statements in their marketing materials.

Giving condo owners a say over fees for maintenance 25/05/2001 The Star
Buyers of condominium and apartment units will be able to decide on the rate of maintenance fees under the new Building and Common Property Bill to be tabled soon.

Legal aid for housebuyers  26/05/2001 NST
THE problems plaguing the housing industry are many, judging by reports over the years of unfulfilled promises to buyers, late delivery of houses, shoddy workmanship and a host of other complaints. While some of these can be settled directly with developers, there are other disputes of a more contentious nature which require legal expertise or the help of the Housing and Local Government Ministry to resolve them. Far too often, the public's general perception of government agencies and departments is that of an inefficient bureaucracy even though the authorities have been trying to improve their image. Resorting to legal recourse can be a costly affair in terms of time and money, especially for people from the lower income group who have put their life savings into buying their first property. The legal process of untangling their problems can be unwieldy and many disgruntled buyers are unable to shoulder the burden of protracted litigation. Bereft of government intervention, they have had to grit their teeth and grin through it all.

Developer to rectify defects in homes 26/05/2001 MM
BUYERS of the Kota Kemuning, Phase RP4A1 housing scheme have been assured that the defects to their houses will be corrected in time for them to move in. The assurance came from the developer, Hicom-Gamuda Development Sdn Bhd, which said that they have already started remedial work to rectify the defects.

DPM: Developers must keep their word 28/05/2001 NST
BUTTERWORTH, Sun. - The tendency among housing developers to forget their social obligations must be discouraged by State Governments. Expressing his dissatisfaction over the number of cases in which buyers had been caused undue hardship by errant developers, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today said:

Developer questioned on strata titles 28/05/2001 MM
YOU did not address the main issues. Palm Court condominium unit owners and residents have criticised developer Ramal Property for allegedly evading their most important question: why it did not apply for strata titles early.

House buyers to take legal action 28/05/2001 MM
THE 40 buyers of Kota Kemuning Phase RP4A1 houses are getting their lawyers ready. They plan to seek legal redress against developer Hicom-Gamuda Development, which they claim has been very insensitive to their needs for quality housing.

Residents build their own guardhouse 28/05/2001 The Star
SEREMBAN: Fed up with the increasing number of thefts in their neighbourhood, Rasah Kemayan 1388 residents pooled their resources to construct a two-storey guardhouse of their own.

No CFs for projects on ex-estate land if low-cost homes not provided 28/05/2001 The Star
CERTIFICATES of Fitness (CFs) will not be issued to housing projects in former estate land if developers do not provide housing for workers. Selangor Housing for Estate and Mine Workers Committee chairman Datuk K. Sivalingam said developers must give priority to providing housing for former estate workers.

Low-cost flats go abegging 29/05/2001 NST
SEREMBAN, Mon. - Developers here are finding it difficult to sell their low-cost flats despite the huge number of people registered under the State's low-cost housing programme. A reason for this, according to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamad Isa Abdul Samad, was that some potential buyers were a choosy lot.

Act to oversee condition of buildings 29/05/2001 NST
LAND and Cooperative Development Ministry parliamentary secretary Robia Kosai said a Bill on the Commissioner of Building Act would be tabled by the Housing and Local Government Ministry soon. She said the Act would enable the authorities to oversee the condition of buildings.

Strata Title Board members recommended by state governments 29/05/2001 Utusan Online
KUALA LUMPUR May 28 - Other than the chairman and deputy chairman, the selection of all 20 members of the Strata Title Board was based on the recommendations of the state governments, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Pembeli rumah diminta lapor segera kerosakan 29/05/2001 BH
SHAH ALAM, Isnin - Pembeli rumah Bandar Baru Puncak Alam di sini, diminta melaporkan segera sebarang kerosakan rumah kepada pemajunya, Puncak Alam Housing Sdn Bhd (Puncak Alam) untuk diperbaiki segera bagi memastikan mereka memperolehi rumah berkualiti seperti dijanjikan. Pengerusi Eksekutif Puncak Alam, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, berkata komitmen yang diberikan terhadap projek itu selaras dengan tanggungjawab dan imej baru Puncak Alam yang mengalami penstrukturan semula syarikat kira-kira dua minggu lalu.

Puncak Alam saman kontraktor sebab 300 rumah kena roboh 29/05/2001 HM
SHAH ALAM: Puncak Alam Housing akan mengambil tindakan mahkamah terhadap kontraktor yang gagal menepati spesifikasi binaan hingga menyebabkan 300 rumah di Bandar Baru Puncak Alam, dekat sini, diroboh dan dibina semula.

Legal clinic for house buyers 29/05/2001 MM-CLAS
DISGRUNTLED house buyers can now get legal advice through the legal aid clinic set up by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the monthly clinic held at the Ministry's enforcement and monitoring division will "especially benefit buyers from the low-income group"

190 Housing projects abandoned 30/05/2001 The Star
There are now a total of 190 abandoned housing projects according to records with the Housing and Local Government Ministry, its minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said. He said that as of December a total of 514 housing projects were abandoned throughout the country. Selangor topped the list with 80 cases followed by Perak with 78.

40 ancam saman pemaju 30/05/2001 HM
SHAH ALAM: Seramai 40 pembeli rumah teres berkembar Fasa RP4 A1, Kota Kemuning di sini, merancang mengambil tindakan terhadap pemaju perumahan itu yang didakwa mengabaikan keselamatan penghuni. Penasihat Undang-undang, Persatuan Pengguna-Pengguna Subang dan Shah Alam (Cassa), Datuk Dr Jacob George, berkata ia berpunca daripada sikap lepas tangan pemaju membaiki keretakan dan kerosakan teruk di unit kediaman itu.

Rumah retak dapat perhatian 31/05/2001 HM
KAJANG: Kebimbangan 32 penghuni Jalan 19, 20 dan 21, Taman Bukit Mewah di sini sejak Disember 1999 yang mengalami masalah rumah retak mendapat perhatian kerajaan negeri. Timbalan Menteri Besar, Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad, berkata mesyuarat akan diadakan esok bagi mencari penyelesaian terakhir.

 

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