Bill of Rights
to protect house buyers
04/01/2009 The Star
AS highlighted by the National House Buyers Association (HBA) recently, abandoned
housing projects have always been a big problem in Malaysia,.
Its honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said house buyers are never
warned about the inadequate protection when buying a yet-to-be built home.
“Most find out the hard way when things go wrong. Aggrieved house buyers are
then forced to go from one department to another, resort to the media, plead
to the Prime Minister, seek intervention from the Minister of Housing and
Local Government or go to court for justice,” he said.
He noted that the major problem is the country’s system of delivery in the
property market – the progress payment system – which allows developers to
demand payment before work progresses.
The rights of house buyers are also vague, he said.
This has prompted the association to draw up a Bill of Rights to ensure house
buyers demand for:
>Safe and sound construction;
>Assurance that the project will not be abandoned and that they will receive
individual titles to their properties;
>Assurance that the new homes and/or any home improvements will comply with
all prevailing local, state and federal building regulations and statutes;
>Assurance that only quality, performance-proven building products are used
in housing construction, and that products are installed in accordance with
manufacturers’ specifications and warranties;
>Assurance that the roof will not leak, the structure is sound and that all
mechanical systems and structural components will perform properly;
>Access to all information regarding the purchase contracts and the site contour
maps, layout plans and building approvals of their developments;
>Knowledge of dealings and any relationship the estate agents or developers
involved may have with the agencies concerned, like architects, engineers,
lawyers, surveyors, financiers, subcontractors, insurance companies, manufacturers,
realtors, home warranty companies and soil test engineers;
>Access to the track record and complaints (if any) of developers, builders,
subcontractors, lenders, manufacturers and any other entity associated with
the building or buying process;
>Peace of mind concerning the safety of their family;
>Protection of the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act and the assurance
of close monitoring, policing and enforcement by the Ministry of Housing and
Local Government; and
>Knowledge that their developers, contractors and appointed agents will honour
their contractual obligations and moral responsibilities.