House buy­ers’ aware­ness of rights still low

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MIRI: The public’s aware­ness of their rights as house buy­ers is still low, says Sarawak Hous­ing Claims Tri­bunal sec­re­tary Ali Ab­dul­lah.

“It is im­por­tant and cru­cial for buy­ers to know their rights so they can­not be cheated by de­vel­op­ers,” Ali told re­porters at a sem­i­nar on the tri­bunal or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Hous­ing here yes­ter­day.

Around 100 peo­ple in­clud­ing heads of de­part­ments and de­vel­op­ers at­tended the sem­i­nar.

“Many buy­ers don’t know the set­ting up of the tri­bunal un­der the min­istry and its func­tion which is to pro­tect their rights as buy­ers. Thus, they don’t know where to go and ex­er­cise their rights when there are de­fects in newly built ( houses) and (in cases of) fail­ure to de­liver ac­cord­ing to sales and pur­chase agree­ments.

Ali said many peo­ple still do not know that they can ex­er­cise their rights such as to sue or take ac­tion against de­vel­op­ers for late de­liv­ery of the house and de­fects on the prop­erty.

Last year, the tri­bunal re­ceived around 79 com­plaints from buy­ers. Out of this to­tal, 49 com­plaints were reg­is­tered, heard and set­tled through the tri­bunal while the re­main­ing 30 were set­tled be­tween buy­ers and de­vel­op­ers out of court.

Buy­ers are only re­quired to pay RM50 when they file their com­plaint with the tri­bunal. The fil­ing can be done on­line and the case will be heard within 60 work­ing days.

Ac­cord­ing to Ali, the case will be heard un­der the Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment ( Con­trol and Li­cens­ing) Or­di­nance 2013. Three pa­pers were pre­sented dur­ing the half- day sem­i­nar.

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