PETALING JAYA: A High Court decision that housing developers have to compensate affected house buyers if they fail to deliver a project on time has come as a beacon of hope for a man who has been waiting 13 years for a home.
M. Sugumaran and 275 others had bought units of the Block E Petaling Utama low-cost flats project in PJS1 in 2004, which was part of the former state government’s squatter eradication project, Setinggan Sifar. The houses were supposed to be ready in two years, but the buyers are still waiting.
Sugumaran, who is chairman of the Block E House Buyers’ Action Committee, said: “We are entitled to the compensation stated in the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) especially in our case where the housing project is for the poor.”
While waiting for the project to be completed, the 30 families were provided with a longhouse as temporary housing while others rented homes around Lembah Subang and Petaling Jaya.
They were supposed to stay there for only two years and no one expected it to extend to 13 years.
The delay was reported to have been due to a court’s stop-work order.
In the SPA, it was stated that if developers failed to deliver vacant units on time, they would be liable to compensate buyers at “10 per centum per annum of the purchase price”.
They have not seen a sen of the compensation and were only given a one-off token sum of RM500.
In 2015, the current Selangor state government decided to give the buyers new units at a different site down the road.
Named Block F, the development was approved by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and will include a building with 12 floors, 276 units, a surau, a hall, and seven shoplots.
What angers Sugumaran is that the buyers have been asked to sign a new agreement, which annuls the old one, and take out a new loan.
“Fourteen of the original buyers have passed on and some have become disabled.
“How do you expect them to take out and service a loan?” Sugumaran asked.
Sugumaran said that with the court’s ruling, developers who could not deliver state-sponsored projects should split the compensation payout with the state government.
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