The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) cautions the government about the formulating of the Temporary Measures Bill that prevents housing developers and homebuyers from suing one another as a result of the delay in completion consequential to Covid-19 pandemic.
Although it is fair that the completion date be extended because of the interruption caused by pandemic, the law should not prevent homebuyers from taking a developer to court over issues other than completion of project longer than three months.
Developers should not be given a ‘blank cheque’ in the delay of their project. The reason of this is because the Movement Control Order (MCO) started on 18 March and work at construction sites resumed from early May.
Enabling developers to extend their project delivery date beyond three months may cause financial hardship to homebuyers who are renting a place to stay while paying housing loans. Other homebuyers may experience problems arising from the delay such as developers facing an overhang in a project may try to find reasons to delay longer than necessary. A protracted delay in a single project would negatively impact hundreds of families particularly those from the Below 40 (B40) or the Middle 40 (M40) groups.
The proposed law should be specific and allows homebuyers to haul developers to court if there is poor workmanship, structural defects, or some other reason other than a reasonable delay in completion. We urge the government to make public the details of the Temporary Measures Bill because it impacts the lives of millions of Malaysians in one way or another.
Press Statement, 3 July 2020