Home buyers’ frustrations with building defects warrant tightening of housing laws

Yap (yellow shirt) inspecting the nearly collapsed concrete fencing together with the frustrated house buyers.

KUCHING, Sept 4: SUPP Public Complaints Bureau (SUPP PCB) is urging the government to consider tightening existing housing laws to compel developers to ensure proper workmanship and good building practices before the issuance of occupational permit (OP).

This call came following a complaint from a house buyer of a double storey corner terrace house situated at Lotak Villas 2, who has been through years of frustration dealing with building defects.

The Bureau chief Wilfred Yap revealed that the owners purchased the house from the developer in 2013 for RM516,000 but they have never move into their new house due to numerous defects.

“According to the house buyers, the developer had initially repaired some of the defects complained by them but the repair works carried out were shoddy and the same problems always recurred after a few weeks.

“They said that the developer has now ignored their complaints and have stopped responding to their requests for further rectification works and repairs. This is despite the fact that the developer in the first place had never properly rectified the defects complained by the house buyers after they took over possession of the house,” he explained in a media release today.

The numerous defects, especially the cracks in the concrete drains and fencing, the owners added, were now getting from bad to worse and the concrete fencing was now nearly collapsing.

Following the request received, Yap together with other SUPP members had recently gone to inspect and assess the situation and also to see what can be done to resolve the problem facing the house buyers.

Yap (right) taking a closer look at the cracks on the concrete drains together with the house buyer.

The matter, Yap said, has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Housing which was the issuer of Housing Developers Licences.

“We hope that the ministry would take steps to request the developer concerned to give a proper explanation of the problem facing the house buyers and also to order or compel the developer to properly repair the sinking concrete drain problem, collapsed fencing and apron of the house so that the house buyers can move in,” he added.

Yap also suggested tightening the law by making it mandatory for inspection of completed houses by specially trained third party independent inspectors before the application for issuance of OP by the local council.

“SUPP PCB hopes that the ministry will seriously look into the matter due to the financial hardship and inconvenience currently faced by the said house buyers as they still have to continue to pay their housing loan when they are unable to move into their house,” he urged.

SUPP PCB is always ready to give advice and lend a helping hand to any one facing problems with government departments or agencies or who come across problems of public interest but does not know how to deal with it.

Anyone requiring assistance can always call SUPP Public Complaint’s mobile number at 016-7797688 or 082-246999 or go directly to SUPP Head Office to request for assistance.—DayakDaily