Friday, December 2, 2016

Property market to remain subdued in 2017

Friday, 2 December 2016

Fateh: ’ We do not see any improvement at least until in the first half of 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The property market is expected to remain subdued in 2017 mired by issues such as unaffordability, high rejection of loan applications and macro-economic issues such as rising living costs and smaller growth in incomes.

Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) president Datuk Seri Fateh Iskandar Mohamed Mansor said the challenging trend from last year, which saw a significant drop in property offerings, was expected to continue to at least in the first half of next year.

“We do not see any improvement at least until in the first half of 2017,” he said at the PropertyGuru 2017 Outlook Forum her yesterday.

He said the weak property market has seen the volume of property offerings declined by 30% in the third quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year.

Fateh Iskandar said sales had also declined significantly to about 30% of the offerings in the first half of this year from 52% in the same period last year.

Country manager of online property portal PropertyGuru Malaysia Sheldon Fernandes said with the completion of many new projects next year, the property market was expected to remain flattish to marginal decline next year.

He said difficulties in obtaining loans were also another barrier in property ownership as evidenced by the drop of loans approval to 42% this year from over 50% last year.

Meanwhile, Fateh Iskandar has urged the government to open up the full loan scheme for Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA) houses, announced in Budget 2017, to private developers who built affordable houses priced RM300,000 and below.

He said private developers could complement Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia, the body that oversees PR1MA development, in the areas that the agency were unable to go to.

“Rehda members are from Perlis to Sabah. We can help build PR1MA houses in areas where Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia can’t go,” he said.

The one-day forum, organised by PropertyGuru, discussed the trend of property market this year and forecast for next year as well as recent development and challenges going forward. – Bernama

http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/12/02/property-market-to-remain-subdued-in-2017/

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Maintenance fee defaulters can be fined, jailed via tribunal, property lawyers say

BY KAMLES KUMAR

Residents living in high-rises who fail to pay maintenance fees may be compelled to do so by a strata tribunal set up by the Joint Management Bodies (JMB). — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Those living in high-rises and default on their maintenance fees can be brought to a strata tribunal by the Joint Management Bodies (JMB) where they can be made to pay hefty fines, according to lawyers who deal with the industry.

The Strata Management Tribunal (SM Tribunal) was set up under the Strata Management Act 2013 where property owners or tenants who fail to pay maintenance charges can be charged for committing a criminal offence.

Real estate lawyer Khairul Anuar said at a time where the payment of service charges have become a problem for high rise residences, JMBs should enforce the use of the tribunal to compel their tenants pay up.

“There is the strata management tribunal that can help any management to collect the fees owed by the tenants.

“This can be done without any legal procedure and through the tribunal. This is a short cut for them to collect the dues. There is no more reason for them (JMB) to say residents are refusing to pay,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

The SM Tribunal can hear cases involving claims up to RM250,000 in a hearing process that takes up to 60 days. There are also no lawyers involved in the process.

Section 123 of the Strata Management Act also empowers the tribunal to forward the case to a court if the person charged fails to comply with the Tribunal’s decision.

“Any person who fails to comply with an award made by the tribunal commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM250,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.

“In the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding RM5,000 for every day or part thereof, during which the offence continues after conviction,” the section reads.

Other than the tribunal, another real estate lawyer, Chris Tan, explained that there also other ways where the JMB can make their tenants to cough up maintenance fees.

Among the methods he suggested include referring the case to the Commissioner of Buildings or even putting restrictions on facilities at high-rises.

“The management can enforce restrictions on those who fail to pay like not letting them use the condominium facilities or even making them sign visitors book when entering the premises.

“They also can go through the Commissioner and at times can result in actions like taking away their cars, electrical appliances and stuff like that as compensation,” Tan told Malay Mail Online.

If at all the situation here worsens, Tan believes that Malaysia should follow Singapore in seizing and auctioning off defaulters’ units to recover arrears.

He conceded, however, that it will be hard to apply the same rules here as mostly properties here are privately owned compared to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) public housing in Singapore.

Earlier this year, it was reported that over 1,192 cases have been filed at the Strata Management Tribunal since the start of 2016.

The problems with high-rise living and their maintenance have been a growing pain in Malaysia over the past few years as strata properties increase.

A survey by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry last week revealed that more than half of condominiums and apartments nationwide ranked below par in an evaluation of property management standards.

Among the major problems that resulted in such standards were the fact that some residents in condominiums are refusing to pay maintenance fees. Other problems included building defects and matters involving enforcement.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/maintenance-fee-defaulters-can-be-fined-jailed-via-tribunal-property-lawyer

Monday, September 26, 2016

How these low-cost flats came out tops

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Record-breaking: Rumah Pangsa Orkid is the first low-cost property to achieve the top standard for quality management.
  
STOLEN cars and motorcycles, break-ins, rubbish strewn about, open slaughtering of chickens, and uncooperative residents.... Needless to say, these problems made Rumah Pangsa Orkid, a low cost flat property in Ulu Tiram, Johor, far from an ideal place to live in back in 2004.

But today, the 312-unit development has transformed itself into a clean, organised and safe community, reducing crime in the area by 95% and installing 65 CCTV cameras.

It was awarded the top standard for quality management, or ISO9001:2008, denoting that it has proper standard operating procedures in place to deal with issues, and efficient building management.

With this feat, the flats made it into the Malaysia Book Of Records in January 2014 for being the first low-cost property to be awarded the ranking, and it remains the only one to achieve this to date.

The flat’s management body adviser Lim Kok Thye says the Rumah Pangsa Orkid plans to continue maintaining such a standard, which is valid for three years.

The current ISO certification will expire in December this year.

While it started with 17 families, the flat is now populated by 2,000 residents of various races.

Lim says the secret of the property’s success in transforming itself was the will to take action and setting strict rules for residents.

“You can’t be sceptical and say that it can’t be done or you can’t succeed.

“If we do not take care of our homes, who will?” says the 46-year-old, who was one of the first residents, moving into his flat in 2002.

When he became the chairman of the management corporation (MC) in 2004, Lim was faced with multiple problems and decided to do something about it.

“Initially, our funds were zero because nobody wanted to pay their fees. I had to borrow some money from the developer to start the ball rolling,” he says.

Close eye: Lim explaining the flat’s security features, which includes monitoring the area using CCTV cameras.

Lim then started organising

gotong-royong, or clean-up campaigns, and personally fixed pipes for free.

“When people saw what I was doing, they too started to feel for my cause,” he says, adding that he also introduced strict rules for residents including imposing fines of up to RM300 for littering and vandalising facilities.

Signboards listing penalties were put up to remind residents not to throw rubbish around indiscriminately.

Using their own budget, the flat also installed CCTV cameras to catch litterbugs and thieves red-handed.

On maintenance fees, Lim says the residents needed to understand what they were paying for.

“We must explain to the residents or else they won’t pay up. Stubborn residents who refuse to pay their fees will be charged interest and have their names listed in CTOS, the credit reporting agency,” he says.

Lim says while cleanliness used to be a persistent problem, the property is now sometimes used as a backdrop by couples for their wedding pictures.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry urban service division under-secretary Mohammad Ridzwan Abidin praises the residents for their effort, saying that even some high-end condominiums find it challenging to achieve such a feat.

“The place is very well-kept. Even my officers found it difficult to spot a discarded cigarette butt in the compound,” he quips.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/09/25/how-these-lowcost-flats-came-out-tops/

Sunday, July 17, 2016

LRT users can travel directly between Sentul Timur and Putra Heights from tomorrow

BY BERNAMA - 16 JULY 2016 @ 8:51 PM


KUALA LUMPUR: People using the Light Rail Transit (LRT) for the Sri Petaling-Ampang route can now travel directly between Sentul Timur and Putra Heights, which will be officially known as the LRT Petaling Line from tomorrow.

Prasarana Malaysia Berhad said in a statement today that the full migration of its signalling system for the Sri Petaling-Ampang LRT will be completed at midnight tonight, users no longer need to switch trains at the Sri Petaling Station to travel between Sentul Timur and Putra Heights, which also integrates with the Kelana Jaya LRT line.

“It’s not only easy and smooth, the LRT service is also inexpensive because for travelling from end to end between Sentul Timur and Putra Heights, a distance of 37 kilometres, the fare is only RM3.50 using the MyRapid SMART 30 package.

“For those having concession cards such as senior citizens, students and the disabled, the fare is RM2.40,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the overall Sri Petaling route goes through 29 stations including Puchong, Kinrara, Sri Petaling, Bukit Jalil, Sungai Besi, Bandar Tasik Selatan, Cheras, Bandaraya and Sentul which takes 65 minutes to travel one way.

“From tomorrow, there will be no trips from Sentul Timur operating alternately with trains to Ampang when the new restructured Sri Petaling-Ampang route is implemented.

“With the new structuring, the Ampang Line involving short journeys to eight stations, including Ampang and Chan Sow Lin will be converted into a feeder service with passengers switching trains at the Chan Sow Lin station,” the statement said. --BERNAMA

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/07/158757/lrt-users-can-travel-directly-between-sentul-timur-and-putra-heights-tomorrow

http://www.myrapid.com.my/rail/routes