Free legal aid for house buyers
13/09/2004 The Star
A PANEL of lawyers will waive legal fees for the 42 house buyers
named as parties in a High Court
case brought by a developer against the Tribunal for Homebuyers
The 15 lawyers, who will be rendering their services through the
National House Buyers Association
(HBA), will appear for the house buyers when an application for
judicial review by Fadason Holdings
Sdn Bhd against the tribunal is heard on Sept 29.
HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the decision by the
lawyers, who each have over
10 years experience, was made to help the house buyers who could not
afford to be represented.
Chang (left) with some of the 15
lawyers who have volunteered their services. "Buyers do not normally have the stamina to go against rich
"Some developers will abuse the legal process by deliberately
appealing all rulings against them to
either exhaust or further frustrate the complainants," he said at
the association's office recently.
Previously, the tribunal had awarded late delivery compensation,
ranging from RM1,000 to RM4,000,
to 507 owners of the developer's low-and medium-cost apartments in
However, the High Court ruled the same year following an application
for review by Fadason that the
tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear and decide cases where the sale
and purchase agreement (SPA) was
entered into before Dec 1, 2002, when the tribunal was formed.
This was overturned on June 14 by the Federal Court, which ruled
that the tribunal was empowered
to hear all disputes related to the SPAs brought before it.
Chang said the case would be a demonstration of
the effectiveness of the tribunal in protecting house
"The obvious logical inference we can draw with the setting up of
the Tribunal for Home Buyer Claims is
that the Government wants to provide an easier, affordable and more
accessible avenue for aggrieved
house buyers to seek redress from their developers," he said.
In July last year, 12 lawyers had offered free legal services to 50
house buyers after developers
Puncakdana Sdn Bhd and Westcourt Corp Sdn Bhd applied for a judicial
review at the High Court against awards given by the tribunal in
favour of the buyers.