Friday, April 18, 2008


Be careful in issuing OC, Tribunal urges
Ensure specifications met before giving occupation cert


The Tribunal for Housing Purchaser Claims has advised local authorities to exercise1 care in the issuance of occupation certificate (OC) to housing developers. Tribunal President Hj Ahmad Sedik said OC should only be issued after the local authorities are satisfied that the developers have met all the job specifications as stated in the sales and purchase agreement made with the buyers. Ahmad gave the advice yesterday when delivering his decision on the claims made by Pang Vui Yin and her daughter Voon Pui Sem against Golden Addition Sdn Bhd over the condition of their home at Phase 1, Delta Height in Penampang. He allowed one claim but rejected two others made by the mother and daughter against the developer after deliberating on the details and explanations from both sides. In allowing the claim, he ordered Golden Addition Sdn Bhd to calculate the total cost of the rectifications sought, namely the installation of ceiling to cover the sewage pipe and interior maintenance, in a week to enable him to make a decision. The claimants had stated in their claims that the upper floor sewage pipe was built above their toilet and was leaking at times, which exposes them to health hazard and discomfort. However, the Tribunal rejected their claim for RM3,000 to remodel the window roofing, as the roofing is under common property and the purchasers cannot complain about anything outside their apartment units. Ahmad further explained that the local council had already approved the present state of roofing in 2000 and moreover, the brochure which was printed in 2004 was only an artist’s impression of the project and the developer had also put a small statement to notify the purchasers regarding the matter. The mother and daughter also claimed for RM38,400 for the cost of using other tennis courts after the developer allegedly breached the agreement in not building a tennis court in the housing area for the convenience of the residents. However, the developer explained that a basketball court and a playground were built instead after the consultant architect and the Water Department advised them not to build the tennis court since they had already built a water tank at the tennis court site. Ahmad said the claim was rejected since the matter was subject to change and the developer assured the residents that they will submit a proposal to build a tennis court but outside the housing area. During the hearing, the Tribunal had also called a Technical Assistant from the Penampang District Council, Alexander to explain why they issued an OC even though the develop built the apartments based on the architect drawing and not the MNE drawing, which was already approved by the council. Alexander stated that they had already submitted a query regarding the matter to the developer and he could not give any other answer since he was not the person responsible in issuing the OC to the developer. An engineer from the council who was already transferred to another town was responsible for the matter, he said. The court then called a Senior Engineer from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to ask for his opinion regarding the tennis court and the sewage pipe, and he said the matter has always happened in Sabah housing sector. Ahmad said he hopes all the authorities will take notice of the matter and inspect the property to see whether specifications are fulfilled before issuing an OC.