Tribunal orders 2 housing developers to fix defects or risk fines, jail time

Lim (centre) speaking to reporters.

by Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Jan 16: Two housing developers were instructed by the Sarawak Housing Purchaser Claims Tribunal to immediately rectify defects in houses built by them.

Sentoria Borneo Land Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Sotano Sdn Bhd were ordered by a three-man panel led by its president Peter Lim Thiam Seng, Robert Elone Sireng and Trabawan Mandi to take responsibility to rectify detects found in a double storey corner terrace house at Villa @ Hills, Jalan Stephen Yong and a single storey intermediate terrace house at Borneo Semariang Garden respectively.

“The developers were each given 45 days from today’s hearing to rectify and fix the houses as per instructed and according to the defect list. Failing to comply with the directive, the housing developer will be penalised not more than RM5,000 or charged RM1,000 per day depending on how many days of late work, or not more than two years’ imprisonment,” Lim said.

In the first case, Harfiza Hipni held that the Sentoria Borneo Land Sdn Bhd was to be held responsible over extreme bad defects in her house, rendering the owner unable to move in nor rent it out to potential tenants.

She bought the 148 sqm house for RM198,000 in 2017 and claimed that until today, the developer has yet to build a proper access road to her house and she has no access to electricity or water.

Harfiza also told the panel members that the developer did some repair works but it used a short-cut method, and was shoddy and unsatisfactory.

In the second case, Chong Jui Chin held Syarikat Sotano Sdn Bhd to be accountable over defects in her 394 sqm house which she bought for RM608,000 in 2016.

Chong claimed that ever since the house was handed over in June 2018, the developer was not cooperative with her request to rectify and fix accordingly, among other things, leaking and cracks on walls, floor and the porch area.

She also claimed that her door wall was filled with paper instead of cement when she wanted to renovate the door.

Meanwhile, the tribunal has solved 46 cases in 2019, 22 of which proceeded to hearings and 24 were withdrawn.

Kuching has the highest number of cases with 29, followed by Sibu (11), Miri and Limbang at three each.

The total of Liquidated Ascertained Damage (LAD) awarded to claimants in 2019 was RM251,742.38 from 15 cases. — DayakDaily