Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims

Know your rights as a homebuyer!

gov.JPG Column by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

Many homebuyers may not be aware of the existence of the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims and its role in providing an avenue for resolving property-related disputes. Below is an overview of the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims.

  • Objective

The Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims provides an easier, cheaper and faster means of dispute resolution for homebuyers claiming compensation/damages from housing developers.

  • Jurisdiction

The Tribunal may hear claims from buyers on condition that:

  1. A claim is filed no later than 12 months from the date of i) issue of the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) of the property; or ii) the expiry of the defect liability period as set out in the Sales and Purchase Agreement.
  2. The Sales and Purchase Agreement involves housing accommodation built on residential area.
  3. Each claim does not exceed RM25,000 per cause of action unless: i) the claimant agrees to forgo the balance of the claim; or ii) the acquiescence of the developer is obtained in writing for the matter to be heard at the Tribunal.
  4. Sales and Purchase Agreements signed before 1 December 2002 can also be considered provide: i) the claims fulfill the criteria stated above; ii) they are not housing projects by a co-operative body or governmental agency.
  • Filing and Registration Procedure

The claimant may lodge his claim with the Tribunal in Form 1 (4 copies), enclosing his statement of claim and a fee of RM10. If there are two (2) names in the Sales and Purchase Agreement, both parties must put down their names, IC numbers and signatures in the claim form (Form 1). Both parties must attend the hearing, or if they are unable to attend, issue a letter authorising a representative to act on their behalf.

Once Form 1 has been filled, the claimant must personally serve a copy on the developer either by hand (receipt must be acknowledged) or by AR registered mail.

The developer may file his defence or counter-claim in Form 2 (4 copies) with a fee of RM10 within 14 days of receiving a copy of Form 1. The claimant may file his defence to the counter-claim in Form 3 with a fee of RM10.

  • Hearing Procedures

The Tribunal will issue a notice in Form 4 stating the date, venue and time of the hearing on both the claimant and the developer, in not less than 14 days before the date of the hearing.

No party shall be represented by an advocate and solicitor during the hearing before the Tribunal.

Both parties have the right to adduce evidence, call any witness, or tender any documents, records or things necessary in support of their respective claims. At the hearing, the Tribunal shall, where appropriate, assist the parties to effect a settlement of the claim by consent (negotiation stage). Upon completion of the hearing, the Tribunal will make an award. The award must be complied with within the stipulated period set by the Tribunal’s President.

  • Settlement

Any person who fails to comply with an award made by the Tribunal commits an offence and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Ringgit (RM5,000) or to imprisonment not exceeding two (2) years or both. In the case of a continuing offence, the offender shall be liable to a fine not exceeding One Thousand Ringgit (RM1,000) for each day until the award is abided by.

Disclaimer. All efforts have been made to provide the most accurate information possible at the time of print.

March 2007

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