Archive for the ‘Penang Apartments & Condominiums’ Category

Focus on the impact of new legislations on management and maintenance of stratified properties in Malaysia

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Following the recent amendment to Strata Titles Act 1985 and the newly implemented Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007 [BCPMM Act] which came into force on April 12, 2007, all stratified properties, including low-cost flats, apartments, condominiums, town houses, shopping complexes, industrial buildings, shop offices and gated communities, fall under the jurisdiction of the BCPMM Act 2007.

The mergence of the 2007 latest amendment of the Strata Titles Act 1985 with the Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007 will enable the authorities to appoint Commissioner of Building (COB) to oversee the management and maintenance of stratified properties.

In Penang, the local council of MPSP has organized a seminar on 30 August 2007 on the implementation of the newly enacted BCPMM Act 2007. The talk was presented by Dr Azimuddin Bahari, Director of Strata Title Division, Lands and Mines Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment whilst another seminar was organized by LA 21 High rise Buildings Working Group at the MPSP Hall Bukit Mertajam on 18th March 2007. Two speakers, Dr Tiun Ling Ta and Lawyer V. Amareson were invited to talk on the current issues and problems of management and maintenance of high rise buildings and recent amendments of the related legislations respectively. More than 80 people including members of management corporation (MC) and Residents Association(RA), high rise unit owners, practicing lawyers, valuers and property managers, representatives of REHDA Penang and MPSP’s officials attended the recent seminar.

Intproperties.com has blogged and zoomed into this growing concern subject of management and maintenance of stratified properties by, firstly, looking into what are the issues and problems confronting stratified properties in Malaysia prior to the recent amendment and newly enacted BCPMM Act 2007 and secondly, the impact of the newly implemented BCPMM Act 2007 to the stratified properties owners.

Issues and Problems of managing high rise strata buildings

Dr Tiun, who presented his talk at the earlier seminar, pointed out factors contributing to the problems of high rise strata buildings such as ignorance of buyers, insufficient legislation, ineffective management, lackadaisical attitude of the occupiers etc. More related articles at Problems faced by owners of strata title properties and Strata-title time bombs due to poor upkeep. It was reported that condo woes on the rise. The problems of high rise buildings do not only affecting the low cost flats and apartments but high end condos as well.

Already there are some high rise flats and apartments in Penang became “walk-up” flats due to faulty lifts and poor upkeep, causing much hardship to the unit dwellers. The problems are further aggravated when there are still no strata titles for the unit owners despite being completed for many years: Title woes still a fact. More updated featured articles at local Chinese paper on high rise maintenance at high rise maintenance problems, whose responsibilities?–Part I and Joint Management Body (JMC), solution to dispute between units owners and developers–Part II.

The stage of upkeep and maintenance of stratified housing units within a housing scheme can become a critical factor affecting the market prices of these stratified properties. Well-upkeep stratified units generally are able to sustain and maintain its market prices and may appreciate in value over times. On the contrary, poor upkeep stratified units in deteriorating conditions even located in prime areas could suffer price drop or value shrinkage due to poor market demand as potential buyers would want to avoid or shun buying stratified units in poorly maintained housing schemes.

The impact and implementation of the mergence of the 2007 latest amendment of the Strata Titles Act 1985 with the Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007

Whilst Dr Azimuddin began his talk by explaining the Section 4 amendment and the 3 phases (1–application for strata title period, 2- Initial Period, 3- Formation of MC) and the relationship between the initial period under the Strata Title Act 1985 to the BCPMM Act 2007(See charts below).

Chart 1

Chart 2

The first Phase refers to the period whereby in accordance with Strata Title Act, developers are required to submit application for strata title. JMB to be formed within 12 months of vacant possession or 12 months of act in force ie before 11 April 2008.

The Second Phase refers to Initial period whereby strata titles are issued and in the process of being transferred to unit owners from the developer. At least one quarter of the aggregate share units of the strata unit owners have to be registered first to form Management Corporation (MC).

The Third Phase refers to the formation of MC where parcel owners takes over responsibility of MC and termination of JMB within 3 three months after formation of MC. Related links on Formation of MC and its duties and responsibilities, Powers of MC and Guidelines on managing Management Corporations.

He went on explaining the regulatory bodies and the appointment powers of COB and the implementation of the Acts through their mergence such as formation of Joint Management Body (JMB)- its duties and powers, Building Maintenance Account (BMA) and Building Maintenance Fund (BMF), Sinking Fund, Managing Agent and Recovery of service charges. Recommended link on the BCMPP Act 2007 ; maintenance of a building.

Under the new BCPMM Act 2007, developers of high rise buildings are required to jointly set up joint management body (JMB) with high rise unit owners or be fined. Set up JMB fast, residents of high-rise buildings urged.

Likewise, the latest amendment of the Strata Title Act requires purchasers or original unit owners to apply for ownership transfer within 12 months from the date of issuance of strata title. For high rise unit owners whom may have whatever reasons to delay the ownership transfer, beware that under Section 40A, Strata Title Act 985 (amendment 2007) which stipulates that who fails to comply shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than one thousand ringgit and not more than ten thousand ringgit per parcel. Related link: Transfer ownership of strata titles or be fined.

During the seminar, we were informed that the Council President of MPPP and MPSP would be the COB for Penang Island and Seberang Perai respectively. Although the BCPMM Act 2007 has been in force since 12 April 2007, a team of officers to assist the COB in carrying out the duties as stipulated under the new Act has yet to be appointed. Many would hope that the Penang COB would expedite the appointment of its team of officers so as to act fast to overcome some of the problems faced by stratified properties owners whilst some anticipate that there would be more last minute formation of JMBs only when the clock is ticking nearer to the dateline of 11 April 2008 to avoid being penalized. More views and comments about the new Act at defuse the time bomb of strata title and New Act comes under scrutiny.

For advisory on individual property needs, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604-6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.


Dr Azimuddin Bahari

Dr Tiun Ling Ta.

Participants attending the seminar organized by LA 21 High rise Buildings Working Group.

High-rise strata buildings are mushrooming in new townships of Penang

Focus on Gurney Drive, Penang’s property hotspot – Part II

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Gurney Drive (Location Map), Penang’s famous sea-front promenade, is one of the popular housing development hotspots on the island favored by both housing developers and property investors / expatriate communities. The stretch, once lined with mansions belonging to some of the region’s rich and famous, has in recent years been transformed into a business and high end residential enclave.

Existing hotels and a shopping center sprouted along Gurney Drive are Evergreen Hotel and Gurney Hotel and Gurney Plaza, a premier lifestyle shopping mall completed in 2001 with a retail space of 700,000 sq ft. The mall is currently undergoing expansion with a RM83 million new wing and when completed, the retail space of the premier mall will be increased to 850,000 sq ft.

Notable sea-front super condominiums located along Gurney Drive vicinity include 11 Gurney Drive, Silverston, The Regency, Millennium Tower, Mayfair, Gurney Palace, The Palazzo. Other luxury condominiums and apartments include No 1 PG, Gurney Villa, Gurney Park, Gurney Beach Resort, Bella Vista, Mutiara Villa etc

Besides the luxury lifestyle condominium facilities, some of which also offers splendid sea views, high-rise but low density with only 1 or 2 units per level with enhanced privacy as well as round-the-clock security, spacious floor area with superior interior decorations. Prices for super condominiums and luxury condominiums along Gurney Drive generally ranges from RM300 psf to RM450 psf whilst monthly rental ranges from RM7,000 to RM10,000 per month for super condominiums of sizes from 4,000 sq ft and above.

Like Mont’ Kiara of Kuala Lumpur, Gurney Drive / Kelawei area is the preferred expatriate address as there is a relatively high expatriate population residing in some of these exclusive luxury condos. Recent reports indicated that foreign purchases on sea-fronting luxury condominiums are also on the rise as more units were bought and owned by foreign nationals over the last few years.

For more information on property investments and advisory on your property needs and expatriate accommodation in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, email to us or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang) or +603 92839782 (KL), we would be pleased to assist.

Some of these super condominiums located within Gurney Drive vicinity are:-

Silverton, a super condominium scheme with build-up area 4,123 & 4,230 sq. ft. Comprises One block of 36-story tower (total 70 units) with 2 units per floor.

11 Gurney Drive - is a brand new 35-storey modern luxury condominium comprising 61 units and two pool villas. Each units has a floor area ranges from 3,466 to 4,200 sq ft.

Gurney Palace – another newly completed super condominiums – a 33-storey block tower comprises only 20 units with a floor size of 6,000 sq ft each.

My residence at Millennium Tower – a super condo with a block of 35-storey tower with 20 units (5,880sq ft to 6,380 sq ft )

The Regency – completed in 1999, comprises a block of 37-storey tower with total 100 units. Floor areas ranging from 4,000 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft priced from RM1.5m to RM1.7m.

The Palazzo, a newly completed 17-storey tower block with only 14 units and 1 duplex penthouse. A typical unit with a floor area of 4,000 sq ft has 4 bedrooms and 4 bath plus a study room. Sales price from RM1.5m per unit.

Other super condo in the vicinity of Gurney Drive is Mayfair, a super condominium due for completion this year and comprising 49 units with floor areas ranging from 5,000 to 5,200 sq ft and a super penthouse of 12,000 sq ft, and Kelawai View, a 30-storey super condo project with total 34 units with floor areas ranging from 4,600 to 11,000 sq ft. Kelawai View is due for completion in 2008. More info on Mayfair ; Billed to be the bestand Kelawai view; Super condo in Pulau Tikus.

Other high rise luxury condominiums within Gurney Drive vicinity are:-

No1 Persiaran Gurney – one of the pioneer luxury condominium schemes along Gurney Drive, completed in 1986 & 1988, comprises 2 blocks with total 198 units inclusive of 6 penthouses. The standard unit has a floor area of 1,900 sq ft. The selling prices ranging from RM550,000 to RM650,000 per unit whilst rental per month ranges from RM2,500 to RM4,000 perunit.

Sri Pangkor – developed by IJM Properties and completed in 1999, comprises 2 low rise blocks and 1 high rise block with a total 171 units. Built-up areas ranging from 1,820 sq ft to 2,310 sq ft.

Gurney Beach Resort Condo- completed in 1998, 1 block of 39-storey tower with a total of 146 units with a floor area of 2,760 sq ft each.

Gurney Villa - completed in 1996, it consists of 1 block of 18-storey tower with total 68 units. Each unit has a floor areas of 1,120 sq ft to 1,160 sq ft. Monthly rental rates from RM2,400 per unit.

Gurney Park – Completed in 1999, comprises 2 39-storey tower blocks with a total 588 units. Each typical unit has a floor area of 970 sq. ft. Market prices for a standard unit range from RM330,000 to RM360,000 per unit whilst current rental rate per month – RM1,800 to RM2,500 for fully furnished unit.

Bella Vista – 1 block of 7-storey condo with 38 units with a floor size of 1,050 sq ft.

Mutiara Villa – 1 Block of 30-storey tower with total 104 units. Built-up area ranges from 1,180 to 1,420 sq ft.

Located along the northeast coast of Penang Island and just minutes away from Gurney Drive is the ongoing Penang’s largest integrated sea-front development of Seri Tanjung Pinang [Click here to view Seri Tanjung Pinang master plan]. This mega water-front development, which spread over 980 acres of reclaimed land, is being developed by E & O Property Bhd. Phase One of the development involves 240 acres of reclaimed headland while Phase Two consists of 740 acres including islands which are linked via two bridges. For more related info on Seri Tanjung Pinang, see web articles; Waterfront project to take shape in Penang, Gurney Drive set for a big change and Project to woo yachting community.

Other upcoming project along Gurney Drive include a RM700 million redevelopment project - Gurney Paragon on a 10.21 acres heritage site by PENANG-based Hunza Properties Bhd. The proposed mixed developments, scheduled for completion in 2010, comprises a shopping mall and 2 phases of super condominiums comprising 270 units and Hunza’s corporate headquarters.

On the longer term, the landscape of Gurney Drive coastal area will likely to see changes following the Malaysian Government’s decision to built a privatized 17 km dual carriageway, Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) connecting from Tanjung Tokong / Gurney Drive area to Penang Bridge near Gelugor area. See Star online’s link on PORR and updated link on PORR-shareholder agreement on PORR Project ready.

A stretch of Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) will be built on the 52ha reclaimed land off the shore of Gurney Drive. A new Gurney Drive is being planned that will include a ten acre public park and two-kilometre promenade that will be beside the road, on the seafront. More info on PORR, click here.

Intproperties.com has blogged a website which offers lots of online messages and comments and nice pictures on Gurney Drive. Read more on Gurney Drive! .

Sea view overlooking Gurney Drive skyline

View of the new developments along Gurney Drive

The skyline of Gurney Drive. Located at the forefront is No 1, Persiaran Gurney Condominium.

The skyline of coastal area along Northam Road (Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah) between Georgetown city centre and Gurney Drive. The newly completed super condominium - Mayfair is located along this stretch.

Focus on Penang Bridge-Bayan Lepas coastal area-Penang’s property hotspot – Part I

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Penang Island’s south-eastern coastal area, stretching from Gelugor–Batu Uban-Sungai Nibong-Bayan Lepas area, is poised to be one of the Penang’s property hotspots. This strategic coastal area, supported by a good network of coastal highways ie. Jelutong Expressway and Bayan Lepas coastal highway as well as good accessibility to the mainland Penang via Penang Bridge and close proximity to the island’s main industrial hub of Bayan Lepas and Penang Cyber City, is gradually transformed into a vibrant business and affluent residential enclave.

In recent years, the Penang property sector has witnessed the successful completion of several developments along the south-eastern coastal area and the opening of Queensbay Mall, E-gate and Tesco hypermarket whilst new developments are being launched and built. Notable development schemes located along this sea-front reclaimed area are 73-acre Queensbay, 155-acre Bayan Mutiara and Techware’s four condominium schemes at Sungai Nibong (click here for location map). When both Queensbay and Bayan Mutiara developments are fully completed, this south-eastern enclave would also become Penang’s new waterfront resort precinct like Singapore’s Sentosa Cove.

Queensbay – A 73 acre mixed development project, formerly known as Bayan Bay, was revived by developer CP Group. This mixed development comprises existing commercial 3-storey shopofffices and Queensbay Mall, the largest shopping mall on the island with a built up area of 2.5 million sq ft and more than 1 million sq ft net lettable area of which about 255,000 sq ft is occupied by anchor tenant, Japanese-owned Jusco Store. Other ongoing and planned projects within Queensbay Master development plan include BayCapita, Baystar, Baygarden, Bayvillas, a 380 room three star hotel and a five star hotel. More update info as at 5.1.2008 on Queensbay Lure .

Bayan Mutiara – Penang Development Corporation (PDC)’s flagship mixed development project. D’Residence, sited on 96 acres reclaimed land and forming part of Bayan Mutiara master development plan, is the first upmarket housing project by PDC Properties in Penang. Phase one of D’Residence was launched last year comprises 113 units (70 units of superlinked houses, 14 units of twin bunglows, 15 units of supreme bunglows and 14 premium bunglows) at selling prices ranging from RM880,000 up to RM2.8mil.

Two newly completed condominiums scheduled to make entry into Penang’s luxury condominiums this year are Bayswater Condominium and Putera Marina Resort.

Bayswater Condominiums – a new freehold luxury sea-facing condominium project developed by IJM Properties and located adjacent to E-gate and Tesco hypermarket. It comprises 2 blocks of 26 storey condominiums with floor areas ranging from 1,173 sq ft to 1,636 sq ft each. The developer’s selling price ranges from RM321,000 to RM435,000 per unit. Whilst Putra Marine Resort is the latest condominium block developed by Techware and has a total of 126 sea-facing units. Each unit has a floor area of 2,027 sq ft to 2,723 sq ft priced at RM275.00 per square foot onwards.

Other existing condominiums located along this enclave include The View Condominiums, Putera Place, Gold Coast Condominiums, Sunny Ville, E Park and Villa Emas. Other medium range apartments include Bukit Dumbar Indah.

The View – a newly completed super twin tower condominiums with a skybridge developed by Penang-based developer, Ivory Sdn Bhd. The units are sea-facing and overlooking the Penang Bridge and has a built-up areas of 2,068 sq.ft for a typical unit that come with 5 +1 bedroom and 4 baths and 5,580 sq.ft for a penthouse unit. Prices ranging from RM633,000 to RM1.62 Million. Related link on The View Twin towers.

Gold Coast Condominiums- This resort condominium, completed in 1999, is sited on 11 acres of leasehold residential land, comprises 3 condominium blocks with a total 412 sea-frontage units. The floor area of the units ranges from 1,042 sq ft, 1600 sq ft up to 4,290 sq.ft. The market price ranges from RM300,000 to RM340,000 for a standard 3 bedroom condominium unit and RM450,000 to RM500,000 per unit for a bigger size units of 1,600 sq ft. Monthly rental rates from RM2,500 to RM3,000 per month.

Putra Place condominium is another condominium scheme by Techware with total units of 626 and completed in mid 2006. Each typical unit has a floor area of 1,000 sq ft whilst duplex and penthouse unit have floor areas of 1,872 sq ft and 2,000 sq ft respectively.

Villa Emas is the first scheme developed by Techware and completed in 1998. It is sited on over 10 acres of leasehold residential land and comprises 3 blocks of 16 storey condominiums with a total of 488 units. Each standard unit has a floor size of 850 sq ft to 950 sq.ft. Located alongside with the Bayan Lepas coastal highway, the scheme is popular amongst Penangites and recorded high occupancy rate. Individual strata titles has been issued. The market prices for a standard unit ranges from RM180,000 to RM240,000 depending on the condition / improvement of the unit whilst monthly rental ranges from RM750 for vacant unfurnished unit up to RM1,500 for furnished units.

Sunny Ville– An integrated resort condominium completed in 1994, comprises a total of 6 blocks of 22 storey in height with more than 500 units. Each typical unit has a floor area of 900 to 1,090 sq ft. Market price for a standard 3 bedrooms type ranges from RM220,000 to RM230,000 per unit whilst monthly rental rate for furnished unit ranges from RM1,000 to RM1,500.00.

E Park – completed in 1996 and located adjacent to Sunny Ville. It comprises 3 blocks with 350 standard units of 800 sq ft and 7 penthouses of 1,600 sq ft.

Lavinia Apartments – completed in 1994 and comprises 5 condominium blocks with a total 236 units with sea-view. Standard floor area ranges from 980 to 1,140 sq ft.

There are growing interest by foreign purchases and increasing numbers of expatriate communities residing in some of these sea-facing resort condominiums. For more information on property investments and advisory on your property needs and expatriate accommodation in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, email to us or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang) or +603 92839782 (KL), we would be pleased to assist.

Located close to Queensbay and a short distance away is Pulau Jerejak, an island that has vast potential to be an eco-tourism destination. Presently, only a small part of the island is being leased to Jerejak Resort whilst major part of the island has recently been gazetted by Penang state government as forest state park. There are plans to built a cable car connecting Queensbay mall to Pulau Jerejak and a theme park.

Intproperties.com has blogged and found that there are two websites that offer lots of photos and information on Pulau Jerejak, here and here.

View of Bayswater Condominiums, located near to E-gate and Tesco hypermarket.

The View twin towers condominiums as seen from Penang Bridge.

View of the Sunny Ville and E Park as seen from Penang Bridge. Sited on the coastal front is the Penang’s new marine police complex cum quarters.

Investing in Penang Apartments and Condominiums-Part II

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

The importance of strata titles and Penang Scenario on strata titles for high rise buildings.

Although modern high rise residential units are gaining popularity amongst urban dwellers in KL and Penang, many buyers lacked awareness on high rise strata units and the importance of obtaining strata titles;

a) As ultimate proof of their property ownership. When you say you own a car, you have the registration card to prove it and there is no need for you to get the consent of the carmaker when you need to refinance or to sell the car.

b) As a dealing instrument for instances of charging to banks for loans.

c) One need not obtain the consent of a third party (the developer) who imposed administrative charges as their consent fees if and when you should decide to sell your property.

d) To form a management corporation (MC) by owners of the subdivided building to maintain and manage the building and to have their own by laws, usage or restrictions. Until then, owners usually do not have a say in the way the building is managed or maintained, the monies collected from maintenance charges, building funds etc.

e) As final proof of the built-up area of your unit and ultimately your apportionment of the share in the total aggregate units.

Recommended links at Why strata titles are important? and Title woes still a fact.

In the absence of strata titles, any dealings involving high rise strata units have to rely on the principal sale and purchase agreement together with deed of mutual covenant and in the case whereby bank financing is required, strata unit buyers would be required to sign or execute assignment documents in favour of the bank as assignee. As strata titles are not issued, there will not be any registration of such dealings and records in the respective land registry. Any subsequent dealings of the strata property is subject to developer’s consent and imposition of consent fees of RM500 per unit.

Upon issuance of strata titles, the owner of the high rise units will be notified by the developer company and subject to payment of survey fees for strata titles and stamping charges for transfer dealings, registration of ownership can then be carried out at the respective land registry.

When buying Penang apartments and condominiums, in the case whereby strata title is available or forthcoming, it is advisable for buyers to ensure that the transaction shall only be completed when registration of transfer of ownership on the strata title is registered on Form 4 (Section 16, Strata Title Act) and when bank loan is required, insist on securing loan by way of charge instead of assignment.

Penang Scenario

According to the Malaysia’s Auditor General Report Year 2005 published by National Audit Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, a special studies have been conducted on the strata titles scenario of the Penang’s State Department of Land and Mines during the period 2002-2005, the following findings was released on 26.6.2006 as follows:-

Based on the auditors report 2005, the Department of Land and Mines Penang has carried out registration of a total of 39,593 strata titles for the period 2002-2005 of which 17,400 units were from 103 applications received during 2002-2005 and the remaining 22,193 units were from 267 applications received during 1995-2002.

In accordance with Section 8 of Strata Title Act, registered proprietors of high rise schemes are required to submit strata title application within 6 months after the date of issuance of certificate of fitness of occupation (CF). Based on the auditor report, there were 92 multi-storey housing schemes involving 21,282 parcels obtained CF from the local authority during the period 2002-2005. It was revealed that 79 of these projects or 85.9% involving 17,661 parcels have not submitted for strata title application during the stipulated period. The findings of the auditor analysis (based on a samplings of 60 multi-storey buildings) revealed that:-

48% of the developer companies do not submit application without any reason given.
10% of the developer companies experienced land subdivision difficulties.
7% of which waiting for issuance of CF for whole scheme
7% of which became insolvent
5% of which encountered land amalgamation problems
3% of which facing financial problems
12% other title related problems ie encumbrances / charges.

The auditor findings also revealed that enforcement against the errant developer companies was lax. In year 2004, only 14 cases have been filed for court actions. More information at auditor’s report (Bahasa Malaysia Version) page 26-37.

However, according to a Penang-based licensed land surveyor, this scenario is set to change with the implementation of the newly amended Housing Development ( Control and Licensing ) (Amendment) Act 2007 and The 2007 amendment of Strata Titles Act 1985 as well as the introduction of the New Act Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007 [BCPMM Act]. With new measures such as introduction of computerization system for strata titles at the land registry, formation of joint management body (JMB) within 1 years from the date of commencement of the New Act ie 14/4/2007 or before 13/4/2008 for existing strata buildings as well as the need to apply for strata title by the developer companies as one of the conditions to secure the release of the 2.5% retention sum after completion of the strata buildings will likely see more strata title submissions within the stipulated period and faster issuance of strata titles in the coming years.

The emergence of many new high rise residential schemes along Georgetown - Gelugor Area. View of Gelugor area towards Penang Bridge…

Investing in Penang Apartments and Condominiums- Part I

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Factors to consider when buying Penang Strata Properties.

Penang’s residential subsector made up bulk of the property market transactions at almost 80% of the total volume of property transactions. It is noted that majority of these housing units involve high rise/strata units. This trend is expected to dominate the Penang Property Market in the coming years as more new multi-storey residential units are being developed and released into the market on the land-scarce Penang Island.

As strata properties are heterogeneous in nature and each has its own unique characteristics, there are merits and demerits factors to look into before one decides to acquire a property. Generally, the condominiums in Penang can be classified into 3 categories; namely city condominiums within the city of Georgetown, resort / beach front condominiums along the tourism belt from Tanjung Tokong-Tanjung Bungah-Batu Feringghi area and outer city condominiums scattered along the south-eastern coastal area of Penang Island from Gelugor to Bayan Baru area. In Kuala Lumpur, buyers generally choose condominiums for prestige, security and returns. In this episode, Intproperties.com will highlight factors that you need to consider when buying Penang Strata Properties.

If you are currently looking to buy or invest in apartments or condominiums in Penang, there are things to look for before deciding to buy your dream homes ie strata title, payment of service charge, reselling or renting out. As condominium living entails shared living involving shared facilities and maintenance, payment of service charge and communities rules and formation of management corporation (MC). Recommended links – Is condominium living for you ? and stratified considerations.

Home seekers who opt for strata living should also aware about their rights and responsibilities and the need to form Management Corporation to manage their units and common property after issuance of strata titles. As becoming a strata property owner, you own not only your unit or strata lot, but also a share of the common property which include facilities such as car parking, recreational services etc. More at know what you buy.

In the case where you are thinking of investing in service apartments, beware that “Service Apartments” in Malaysia are being classified as commercial units and therefore NOT covered under the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act, 1966. However, with the recent amendment to the HDA Act on 15 Feb 2007, the development of service apartment is now come under the ambit of the amended HDA Act. Recommended link; Investing in Serviced Apartments. and law for serviced apartment timely.

When buying new off-the-plan housing units or under construction units from primary market ie. from housing developers, it is advisable to run a checklist and refer to guidelines of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Malaysia. There are other local consumer-centric NGOs such as House Buyers Association and National Consumer and Complaints Centre which offer information resources on wide range of housing and consumer related issues from consumer perspective.

However, when you intend to purchase existing completed units from secondary market, a word of caution, always engage the services of a licensed property agent to handle your property needs. It is always safer to deal with licensed property agents as licensed property agents are covered by professional indemnify insurance which is a requirement to renew their license annually. Beware that there are thousands of illegal or freelance brokers moonlighting in the marketplace of Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Don’t use illegal property agents and British cabbie taken for a ride. You can now verify online whether the person you are dealing with is registered with Malaysia’s regulatory body ie. Board of Valuers, Apppraisals and Estate Agent Malaysia by login to its website;www.lppeh.gov.my and key-in the person’s name or the firm’s name.

View of inner city condos in George Town, Penang

For next episode, Intproperties.com will look into the importance of strata titles and overview on strata titles for high rise buildings in Penang. (To be continued).