Contractors ordered to pay for abandoning projects

Muhammad Hadi forked out RM20,000 to complete the renovation of his house after the first contractor failed to do so.

AN ACCOUNTS executive who hired a contractor to renovate the kitchen of his terrace house was left high and dry after work was abandoned.

Mohd Fairul Amir Sharifuddin hired the contractor in January to extend the kitchen of his house in Bandar Layangkasa, Pasir Gudang.

The total cost of the project was RM65,000 to extend the kitchen area by 6.09m, instal a tabletop and kitchen cabinet, roofing and wiring works, build a laundry area, and put in an exhaust fan.

The claimant and his wife hired the contractor based on recommendations of other homeowners in the neighbourhood who had extended their kitchens, said Mohd Fairul.

He was speaking to reporters when met outside the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal at Menara Ansar.

He made the first payment of RM20,000 on Jan 5, 2023, and three days later, the contractor sent four workers to start work.

Mohd Fairul made the second payment of RM10,000 on Jan 9, as the contractor claimed he needed the money to buy building materials and RM15,000 more on Jan 19.

This was followed by RM1,000 on Feb 6 for the wiring work and RM3,000 and RM5,000 progress payment on Feb 13 and Feb 17 respectively.

“We paid RM2,000 cash on March 3 and an extra RM5,000 as the contractor said he wanted to pay his workers.

“In total, we paid the contractor RM61,000.”

Mohd Fairul said the contractor abandoned the project two weeks before Hari Raya Aidilfitri despite taking the money.

“We have no more money to engage a new contractor to finish the project,’’ he said.

Earlier, during the hearing, he told tribunal president Lee Chee Thim that he wanted RM20,000 payment from the contractor.

Lee then ordered the respondent, who did not attend the hearing, to pay RM20,490 to the claimant within two weeks.

In another case, a chemical engineer had to fork out RM20,000 to complete the renovation of his double-storey house in Taman Mutiara Hijau, Kulai.

The claimant, Muhammad Hadi Mohd Hassan, 33, said the total renovation cost was RM44,000 to instal a tabletop, kitchen cabinet, tile up the kitchen wall, wiring work and made-to-measure curtains.

“The contractor was supposed to finish the project in three months, with work starting in December 2022 and ending in February this year,’’ he said.

Muhammad Hadi paid RM4,000 in June 2022, followed by RM17,000 in December and RM12,000 in January 2023.

“But the project was not completed by February and dragged on until September.

“The contractor agreed to refund me RM8,290 but has still not paid up,’’ he said during the hearing.

The claimant told the tribunal the sum was derived based on 60% progress made and 40% job pending.

Lee ordered the respondent, who did not attend the hearing, to refund RM8,290 to the claimant within two weeks.

Those who need assistance in tribunal matters can call 07-227 1755/1766.

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