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Selangor to appoint Commissioner of Buildings 'soon'
22/09/2007 NST By Chris Prasad

The existing confusion over who is Selangor's Commissioner of Buildings (CoB) is nearly over, with the decision that town and municipal council heads will take up the position for their respective districts.

According to an official within the state's Housing and Property Board (LPHS), the CoB, which earlier this year was assigned to the Board's executive director Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad, is now "in the process of being transferred to the heads of local councils throughout the state".

"This is what the other states have done, and there is a lot of political pressure for us to follow suit," said the official who wished to remain anonymous.

Although no date was given on when the appointments would be made official, it is understood to be "anytime soon".

National House Buyers Association (HBA) secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said building owners and house buyers within the state "eagerly welcome a resolution to Selangor's CoB issue".

Over the last few months, he said the association has received numerous complaints from buyers who are confused and frustrated about whom to direct their concerns and queries to.

"Phone calls made to (LPHS) were diverted to various municipal councils, but in many cases, the councils themselves didn't know about their role," said Chang.

"Once the local council heads have been confirmed their status, buyers will have a more effective and direct avenue to voice their grievances."

Initially, the Selangor government had grand plans for one CoB to oversee all building related matters in the state.

However, market commentators pointed out that such a role "would be too large for a single person to handle" as the duties of a CoB are wide and very demanding.

Lawyer Lee Kim Nor, who was involved in the drafting of the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007, said the role of a CoB requires him or her to be "legal officers, law enforcers, mediators at residents' meetings, registrars, record keepers, defect investigators and even debt collectors".

"As a legal advisor, the CoB must determine the service charge of a property, ensure the building is insured, audit the Building Management Fund, enforce house rules and even advise on late payment interest for maintenance and service charges," he said.


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