Friday February 22, 2013
Ministry seeks to make errant developers pay up
By ZUHRIN AZAM AHMAD
PUTRAJAYA: The Housing and Local Government Ministry is finding ways to make errant developers honour the awards given by the Homebuyers’ Claims Tribunal.
Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said he would hold discussions with legal experts for ideas on how to handle errant developers.
He said while there was a law to penalise developers who refused to honour the awards, the ministry felt there was also an urgent need for a more effective execution of the tribunal’s decisions.
“There are 4,778 cases of dishonouring awards since the inception of the tribunal 10 years ago.
“While the claimants can seek justice in civil courts which will involve another process and could be time consuming, we are taking this proactive step to ensure the developers honour the awards,” he said here yesterday.
Chor was speaking at the presentation of letters of appointment to 16 tribunal presidents. Six of them are new appointees.
Since its inception in January 2003, the tribunal had handled 34,122 cases of which 33,573 had been resolved with awards totalling RM115mil.
Chor reminded developers that the latest amendment to the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118) provided a higher penalty to those who refused to honour the awards.
“The minimum penalty has been increased to RM10,000 now from RM5,000 while the maximum is now RM50,000 from RM10,000,” he said.
He added that the new penalty, however, could not be imposed as there were several technical issues that needed to be resolved.