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Tribunal awaits nod

11/11/2009 The Star By JACK WONG

KUCHING: The soon-to-be set up House Buyers Claims Tribunal can handle claims of up to RM40,000 or RM80,000 if approved by the minister concerned.

State Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the number of complaints received by his ministry had increased from two in 2005 to 19 last year.

“Another 19 complaints have been received this year,” he added when tabling the Hou-sing Developers (Control and Licensing) (Amendment) Bill 2009, in the state assembly yesterday.

The Bill, which facilitates the establishment of the claims tribunal, was approved after debate by members. Johari said most of the complaints were related to poor workmanship, late delivery of houses and late issuance of occupation permit (OP) for the houses.

Expecting the number of such complaints to continue to rise due to the many on-going housing developments, he said without the tribunal, there was now no avenue for the ministry to address these complaints.

Johari said although unhappy house buyers could file civil suits against the developers concerned, it would be expensive for them to engage lawyers.

The approved Bill stipulates that a claim has to be filed by a house buyer within 12 months from the issuance of the OP or before the expiry date of the defect liability, whichever is later.

Any claim or counter-claim to be filed with the tribunal will be up to RM40,000 or RM80,000 if approved by the minister concerned.

Every agreed settlement recorded by the tribunal or the award made by it will be final and binding on all parties concerned, and deemed to be an order of a magistrate’s court.

Johari said the tribunal would comprise a chairman, deputy chairman and not more than five other members to be appointed by the minister concerned.


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