Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

The Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims

Homebuyers having problems can seek the help of the Tribunal provided they meet certain conditions and their problems are within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.

Find out whether the Tribunal will hear your case.

Who makes up the Tribunal?

The Tribunal consists of a Chairman and Deputy Chairman and not less than 5 other members, all of whom are members of the judicial and legal services. They are appointed by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

Can any party use the Tribunal for housing related complaints?

To approach the Tribunal, the homebuyer must be an individual purchaser and the claim must be within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. It does not matter whether the buyer has bought the property from a developer or has purchased the property from a first buyer (who bought it from the developer).

Does that mean that the Tribunal will never attend to a claim filed by the developer?

Not necessarily so since a developer faced with a claim from a purchaser can file a counter-claim with the Tribunal. Should the purchaser later decide to abandon the claim, the developer can still go ahead with the counter claim.

What are the types of claims handled by the Tribunal?

For a claim to be heard by the Tribunal it must fulfill certain conditions. The Tribunal will consider a claim:

a) based on a complaint arising from the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA)

Such a claim can be technical or non-technical in nature. A technical claim will be one where it involves substandard work or non-adherence to the specifications as stated in the SPA.

A non-technical claim is one that does not fall into the technical category, for example late delivery of vacant possession of the property.

b) if the claim is made within the required time frame

The claim must be brought to the Tribunal not less than 12 months from the date of issuance of the certificate of fitness for occupation (CFO) or the expiry date of the defects liability period as set out in the SPA.

c) if the Sale and Purchase Agreement is for a housing unit meant for domestic purpose

d) where the claim does not exceed RM50,000

Where the claim exceeds RM50,000 it will have to be filed with the Sessions Court, unless the buyer agrees not to claim the amount that exceeds RM50,000. Furthermore, the Tribunal may hear a claim that is worth more than RM50,000 if both parties agree in writing that the Tribunal should decide on it.

Will the Tribunal handle claims if the properties were bought before the new Act came into force?

As long as the complaint fulfils the 3 conditions mentioned above, the Tribunal will hear it irrespective of when the SPA was signed.  But the Tribunal will not handle any case where the SPA was signed prior to 1 December 2002 if the housing project is carried out by co-operative societies or statutory bodies.

But what about abandoned projects, can’t we complain to the Tribunal?

No, since the Tribunal only hears cases where buyers have been given vacant possession of their properties.

What other types of claims are outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal?

The Tribunal does not have any jurisdiction over the following claims:
  • for the recovery of land or any estate or interest in land
  • the entitlement of any person under a will or settlement or intestacy
  • goodwill
  • any chose in action (ie an action which will only take place in the future)
  • any trade secret or intellectual property right
  • any personal injury or death
  • The Tribunal will also not entertain a claim if it is a subject of court proceedings. If the court proceedings had commenced before the claim was lodged with Tribunal, unless the court case is withdrawn, the Tribunal will not hear it.
Will lawyers be allowed to appear at the Tribunal?

Normally no party shall be represented by a lawyer at the hearing. However, since an employee of a company may attend the tribunal, a former practising lawyer now employed by the company may do so.

In exceptional cases where complex issues of law are involved, the Tribunal may allow a lawyer to be present. But if one party is represented by a lawyer, then the other party is also entitled to one as well.

How much does it cost to use the services of the Tribunal?

There is a fee of RM10 for filing a claim.

What are the documents needed to be filed with the Tribunal?

You would need to fill up 4 copies of Borang 1 and also provide copies of the following documents:
  • Sale and Purchase Agreement
  • Letter of vacant possession
  • Certificate of Fitness of Occupation (if any)
  • Letter of Notice of Claim issued by the buyer to the developer (if available)
  • Any other documents which support your claim
Is the tribunal open to the public?

Yes it is.

What happens if one of the parties is absent at the hearing?

If the Tribunal is satisfied that a notice of hearing has been served on the absent party, the Tribunal will still go ahead with the case.

What awards can be issued by the Tribunal?

The Tribunal may award one or more of the following:
  • that one party pays money to the other party
  • that the price or other consideration paid by the aggrieved party be refunded
  • that the party complies with the SPA
  • that money be awarded to compensate for any loss or damage suffered by the claimant
  • that the contract be varied or set aside, wholly or in part
  • the costs to or against any party be paid
  • that interest be paid on any sum or monetary award at a rate not exceeding 8% per annum
The Tribunal does not make any award for any non-monetary loss or damage.

Can one appeal against the decision of the Tribunal?

The Regulations provide that the decision of the Tribunal is final and binding on all parties.

What is the penalty for not complying with the Tribunal’s decision?

Any person who fails to comply with an award made by the Tribunal shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000, or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to both.

Further, the person could be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after conviction.

So how do I contact the Tribunal if I want to file a claim?

You can write to:

The Secretary
Tribunal for Homebuyers Claims
Ministry of Housing and Local Government
Level 2, Blok B (South),
Pusat Bandar Damansara, P.O. Box 12579

Tel: 2092 4488 (Hotline), 03-2099 8405, 03-2099 8402
Fax: 03-20934776, 03-2095 9309

Send SMS for any complaints or enquiries regarding TTPR to 36828

TTPR Northern Zone
Assistant Secretary
Level 2
Kompleks Sempilai Jaya
Jalan Sempilai
13700 Seberang Jaya
Prai, Pulau Pinang

Tel: 04-3979 378
Fax: 04-3979 403

TTPR Southern Zone
Assistant Secretary
Level 20
Menara Ansar
No. 65, Jalan Trus
80000 Johor Bahru.

Tel: 07-2228069

TTPR Eastern Zone
Assistant Secretary
Level 5 & 6
Bangunan Darul Takaful (MAIDAM)
Jalan Sultan Ismail
20200 Kuala Terengganu

Tel: 09-6228023
Fax: 09-6229361