Housing Ministry drafting new property laws

KUALA LUMPUR: The Housing and Local Government Ministry is coming up with several new laws to provide better protections for landlords, tenants and property buyers.

National Housing Department director-general N. Jayaselan said the ministry was in the midst of drafting a Residential Tenancy Bill, as well as for commercial buildings and wakaf land.

Jayaselan said the proposed law on commercial buildings would focus on providing standardised terms and guidelines on sales and purchase agreements.

He said that currently, the sale and purchase of any commercial property was not controlled.

"Hence, different development will have different terms and guidelines. We want to standardise it

"That means when people purchase property, their rights will be guaranteed," Jayaselan told reporters on the sidelines after the launch of Khazanah Research Institute's "Rethinking Housing: Between State, Market and Society" report on Thursday (April 26).

The Ministry, he said, is also reviewing the current Housing Development Act 1966 to make it suitable for the current situation in the country.

The amendments to the Housing Development Act would encompass buyers' rights, compounds, extension of time and more self-regulation that would not involve much interference from the government.

"This means the purchaser and developers set the requirements. Some foreign countries are already doing it, so in a way, we are giving some freedom, but with some control.

"We don't want to over-regulate," he added.

On wakaf land, Jayaselan said the Ministry is looking into having a separate bill on the matter, as such matters currently fall under state governments.

Asked on how soon the bills would be tabled, Jayaselan hoped it would be presented in Parliament late next year.