bear installation costs for utilities
By Nicholas Mun
Buyers who have been requested to pay installation costs over and
above the deposits for the connection of water and electricity
supply to their new houses can refuse to do so as these sums should
be borne by developers.
According to National House Buyers Association secretary-general
Chang Kim Loong, such costs must be borne by the developer as
provided for under the standard Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA)
set out in the schedules of the Housing Development (Control and
Licensing) Act 1966.
"Very often, you find vendors/developers saying that the contractors
of the utilities companies were the ones demanding the 'additional
payments' to facilitate the installations. It may be a case where
developers may be merely attempting to pass the buck to naive and
unsuspecting buyers," he said.
Chang, however, said the nominal stamp duty should be borne by
buyers and not by developers.
"This 'hasil setem' which is rated at a nominal RM10 is imposed on
contracts between two or more parties, which in this case is the
Supply Contract between the owner and Puas Bhd and the Electricity
Contract with Tenaga Nasional Bhd. As such, the stamp duty must be
borne by the owner," he explained.
A lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity shared Chang's views,
saying that the stamp duty is payable to the Government and is not a
sum that a developer profits from.
He explained that buyers' reluctance to pay for it may stem from
their reading of the SPA which states that the buyer is only liable
to pay 'within 14 days' the deposits for the installation of water,
electricity and gas meters, and that the Vendor shall bear all
other costs, if any.
"The stamp duty is Government revenue, so buyers shouldn't quibble
over it, especially when it is such a small amount," he added.