Council to crack down on illegal home renovations

MBIP says it will take action against owners of low and medium-cost flats who build illegal structures that encroach on the common areas of the buildings. – THOMAS YONG/The Star

LEGAL action will be taken against owners of low and medium-cost flats in Johor Baru for putting up illegal structures or carrying out illegal renovations on their premises.

Iskandar Puteri City Council (MBIP) mayor Datuk Haffiz Ahmad said the illegal structures encroached on the common areas of the apartment buildings.

He said the illegal renovations could jeopardise the safety and stability of the buildings, including causing cracks or leaks.

“They may also obstruct firemen during emergencies,” Haffiz told StarMetro after a council meeting.

He was asked to comment after reports of illegal renovations being carried out by flat owners in Selangor went viral.

Photos showed that their renovations on the ground and first floor encroached on the common areas of the housing schemes.

“Those with information on any illegal renovations or structures at flats are urged to inform the council and we will take action,” he said.

Separately, he said building owners of landed property must get approval from MBIP before renovating their property.

If found guilty, the owners could face fines of up to RM250,000 and a maximum of 10 years’ jail.

Haffiz said the city council’s building unit would assist owners in application to renovate their premises according to approved standards and specifications.

“This advisory service is free,” he said.

He advised building owners to engage contractors who were certified and registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

He said those who had already carried out illegal home renovations could get approval from the city council if the works fulfilled all the existing guidelines.

However, Haffiz said the owners would be penalised for failing to seek prior approval from MBIP.

“The penalty is up to 30% of the cost of the completed renovation.

“Owners can appeal to us for a reduced fine,” he said.

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