PETALING JAYA: The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has called on house buyers whose properties weren’t delivered on time to pursue their legal rights and entitlement to compensation under the law.
HBA honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said this in the wake of a recent revelation in the Dewan Rakyat that the housing controller and urban wellbeing, housing & local government minister had given 304 extensions of time (EOT) to developers since 2014.
Under the statutory Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA), a housing developer is supposed to complete and hand over a unit to a buyer within a stipulated time frame – 24 months for landed property and 36 months for stratified property – failing which the developer will have to pay liquidated ascertained damages (LAD) to the buyer.
However, under “special circumstances”, the developer can appeal to the housing controller or the urban wellbeing, housing & local government minister for an EOT, which allows them to extend the delivery date of the unit without needing to pay LAD.
“Now, HBA is helping affected house buyers in seeking their rights in four cases where EOTs were granted to the developers.
“But there are surely more who have been affected. Our message to them is to seek independent legal advice or approach us with a view to seek legal redress. We will help guide them in seeking their rights which are enshrined under the law.”
Chang also reiterated his call to buyers to put off any decision to buy a property due to the uncertainty in the completion date of projects, since EOTs were being granted in such large numbers.
“Unless responsible developers can guarantee that they won’t seek an EOT from the minister or housing controller and unless the government can guarantee that it won’t issue any more EOTs, I think it is safer for house buyers to stay away from buying any properties.”
In a landmark decision in March, the High Court ruled against developer BHL Construction Sdn Bhd over a 12-month extension that led to house buyers not being able to claim compensation.