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Residents duped by developer over quit rent

06/01/2008 NST

KUALA LUMPUR: For the past 23 years, residents of Taman Mawar, Cheras, thought they had been paying their quit rent.

In 1985, sale and purchase agreements were signed for 329 houses within the area with the quit rent to be paid to the state land office through the developer, Musytari Development Sdn Bhd.

However, 11 years of trust and faithful payments came to a screeching halt when residents were slapped with warning letters from the state land office for arrears amounting to RM318,000.

In the uproar that followed, the land office claimed that it had not received the yearly quit rent since the agreements were signed.

Checks revealed that Musytari Development had been liquidated and the residents' money had disappeared along with the individuals responsible for making the yearly payments.

Member of parliament for Pandan, Datuk Ong Tee Keat, who is also the deputy minister of higher education, said the issue had raised another important dimension -- the absence of individual titles for the 329 properties within the Taman Mawar area.

Over the years, the developer had failed to subdivide the master title in which the properties were grouped under.

Due to this negligence, many residents were beset with complications when they tried to sell their property as they were not able to produce a land title.

Ong said it would not be wise for residents to leave the issue unresolved as the situation would get increasingly complicated as more transactions were made as separate agreements without the legality of a land title.

"Many of those involved do not realise the importance of rectifying the mistake and settling the arrears owed to the land office.

"The land office can take action against them if the arrears are not cleared," he said.

Ong advised the property owners to write to the state land department requesting a waiver for the quit rent arrears.


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