Purchasers of commercial properties facing defects in a dilemma

IPOH: There needs to be policies or Acts to protect purchasers of commercial properties facing structural issues or defects, says the Perak Consumers’ Association.

Its chairman Abd Rahman Syed Alli said shoplot owners are currently not protected by anything and could only take legal action against developers should there be any issues with their properties.

“Many are not aware that the developer of a commercial property bears less liability than a residential property developer.

“Protection offered by the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act for residential property buyers will not apply to commercial property owners,” he said in a press conference here on Thursday (March 23).

“The buyer can only depend on the agreement and there is no other form of protection,” he added.

Abd Rahman said he had received a complaint from a shophouse owner who was facing defect issues with his property in Kamunting, Taiping.

“The owner had thought of renting out the property to cover the monthly bank loan instalments.

“The property, however, had defects, with cracks and cavities on the wall, which is also slanting, believed to be due to issues with the foundation,” he said.

“This has scared people away as they feared the wall could collapse,” he said, adding that the developer had only offered about RM8,000 to fix the damage.

“The owner is now facing bankruptcy as he could lose the property, among other things, and could not afford to hire a lawyer to take up the case,” he added.

Abd Rahman said the present government often spoke about safety nets for people and consumers, which should also include commercial property buyers.

“I hope the Local Government Development Minister will look into this and come up with solutions.

“I suggest that commercial property owners should also be protected by the consumer tribunal, which also protects residential property owners,” he said

“As a purchaser, the (shophouse) owners should also be considered as consumers as they are in a dilemma.

“Apart from the developer, the local authority that gives the certificate of completion and compliance should also be responsible,” he added.

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