Delays are developers’ responsibility, says Rehda

rehda-construction PETALING JAYA: Developers must be responsible for any delays when it comes to completing their projects, says the Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda).

Rehda national treasurer Muztaza Mohamad explained that once an agreement is signed between the property buyer and a developer, the onus falls on the developers to deliver the home.

“Any delay is not the fault of the buyers. It’s ours or that of other people,” he told reporters after a forum.

Muztaza was asked to comment on a High Court decision to set aside the order by the urban wellbeing, housing and local government minister to give a 12-month extension to a developer to complete his project.

He said the “law is the law” and urged developers to plan ahead to ensure homes are delivered on time.

This included only selling the property when it is 50% completed. “You must plan from day one of the project,” he said.

Yesterday, Justice Hanipah Farikullah, who allowed the judicial review application by 104 house buyers, said the minister’s decision to rely on a regulation to allow the extension was against the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act.

BHL Construction Sdn Bhd was involved in the construction of a condominium at Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur where 104 plaintiffs had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with them.

One of the conditions of the agreement required that the developer hand over vacant possession within 36 months or be liable to pay a penalty for late delivery.

The developer failed to complete and hand over the units to the 104 purchasers on time, and wrote to the controller of housing under the ministry for an extension of time. His request was rejected.

The developer then appealed to the minister who, on Nov 17, 2015, allowed an extension of 12 months.

That decision would have allowed the developer to hand over vacant possession of the houses to the buyers from 36 months to 48 months.

The aggrieved purchasers sought legal remedy in the courts last year.

Under the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966, developers have to hand over the keys to house buyers within 24 to 36 months from the date of the agreement.

If a developer fails to complete and hand over the units within the prescribed time, it would have to pay the buyers liquidated ascertained damages (LAD) of 10% per annum of the purchase price.

Court rules minister’s order for extension of time invalid