Archive for September, 2007

Malaysian Budget 2008 and its impact on the property sector

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Here are the highlights of the Budget 2008 relating to property sector tabled in Parliament by the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 7th September 2007 :-

a) EPF contributors can make monthly deductions from their EPF account to buy a house. The move will greatly benefit all the five million EPF contributors in the country and spur consumer led growth. Read more follow-up explanation by Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop on EPF withdrawals;

b) 50 Pct Stamp Duty Exemption For House Purchase costing not more than RM250,000. Purchasers can save up to RM2,000 being 50 percent stamp duty exemption on documents of transfer for the purchase of one house costing not more than RM250,000. Related link on Stamp duty payable;

c) Foreigners can take up to 70% stake in fund and REIT management firms;

The relevant appendices on the stamp duty exemption on purchase of residential property (Appendix 24), stamp duty exemption on transfer of real property between husband and wife (Appendix 26), stamp duty exemption for mergers and acquisitions of listed companies(Appendix 7), and tax treatment on transfer of building to REIT (Appendix 9) are available at Budget day Appendices.

And here are the comments on the impact of this budget on the residential property market especially on the release of about RM9.6 billion EPF fund annually to the five million EPF contributors - Higher sales forecast. More resources at The Star online on Malaysia budget 2008 and Economic report 2007/2008.

Update link : EPF announces details for housing loan monthly instalment withdrawal dated 14.12.2007.

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.

Penang’s skyline - Jelutong - Gelugor - Bayan Baru area. Many housing projects are taking off along this coastal area of Penang Island…

View of the landed homes at Bukit Gambier /Gelugor area.

Villa Emas Apartments at Bayan Baru area

Desa Palma in Bukit Mertajam

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