KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — A house buyers group has disclosed nine other cases where developers avoided compensating buyers for late delivery via extensions from the government, after a court ruled the practice to be unlawful yesterday.
National House Buyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the group has on record 10 such cases where developers secured time extensions from the Housing Controller, including the one that resulted in the significant ruling.
The High Court ruled on Monday that the Housing Controller has no authority to amend contracted delivery dates, and that developers must compensate buyers for delays in handing over vacant possession.
"House buyers are deprived of the liquidated ascertained damages because of a stroke of pen by the Housing Controller.
"The cases that we have are in Klang, Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and Kota Baru," he was quoted saying by local daily The Star.
Of the 10 cases, Chang said he had documents to show that the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry granted approval for eight of them.
According to The Star, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan who was the former Housing and Local Government Minister approved seven out of the 10 EOT requested, while the remaining three were granted by his successor Tan Sri Noh Omar.
According to The Star, Noh said that it is "not easy" to obtain a time extension from the government for housing projects.
He said developers are usually given more time to deliver due to reasons such as natural disasters like landslides and floods, developers being faced with lawsuits or stop-work orders or complaints from neighbours.
He said his ministry will study the court ruling before deciding on what to do next.
The Star said a High Court judge had on Monday ruled that the Housing Controller has no powers to give an EOT to developers who had delayed the completion of their projects without paying compensation to house buyers.
The lawsuit won by 71 purchasers of the Sri Istana condominiums in Kuala Lumpur was filed against the Housing Controller and the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister.