01/01/2004 Published in Malaysian Business - Housing & Property By National House Buyers
`A good property developer touches no man's fortune; seeks no plunder;
causes no disturbance in society; gives no trouble to Members of Parliament;
needs no trade association to protect its interests; contemplates no
violence; subverts no order; accepts no gift, nor asks any favor; knows what
after sales service is.'
This is the ideal form of relationship between prospective buyers and the
property developer. However, in reality, the current scenario is quite
different and contrary to the expected norms of what is right. The state of
affairs that exists today is a sorry commentary on the fact that property
developers do not stand up to their end of the deal.
We often find gross deficiencies at various levels on the part of property
developers when it comes to the actual delivery of any kind of property.
There is no available statistic on the number of non-residential property
buyers aggrieved by developers, but somehow we believe that it is a
Whereas residential property buyers are given protection under the Housing
Development (Control & Licensing) Act, there is hardly any legislation or
law for the protection of non-residential property buyers.
While it is not possible to develop residential projects without including
commercial development in new housing areas, the same protection is not
accorded to the commercial property buyers.
Why is this so? We have no answer for this. Unless buyers of commercial
property wake up and seek for a law for their protection, it will be a long
time before a law to protect their interest will be formulated.
HBA has written articles on the need to regulate the control and licensing
of developments in commercial properties, such as shop lots,bungalow lands,
complex, factories and service apartments. It certainly has not fallen on
deaf ears with the recent reiteration by the Minister of Housing and Local
Government Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting to seek power to monitor errant developers
of commercial properties developers.
Without any form of legal control on the sale of new commercial properties,
it is down to the adage `let the buyer beware', but with legal control, it
becomes `let both buyers and vendors beware'. Often, service apartment and
bungalow-lot buyers are caught by surprised when told that their purchase is
not covered under the Housing Act. Our advice for buyers of `off-the-plan'
commercial properties is to check with their lawyers first on the terms and
conditions of their purchase before they even pay a
And for commercial property buyers who are facing problems, for example
abandoned projects, no certificate of fitness for occupation, no utilities
supply, our advice is for you to band together with the other purchasers to
seek legal redress. Readers are urged to surf our website for constant
updates on the housing industry.