KUALA LUMPUR (April 2): Malaysia is currently studying the Residential Tenancy Act to provide new laws governing the country's housing rental market, said the Housing and Local Government Ministry today, adding the new act will take two years to develop.

Noorihan Abd Halim, senior principal assistant director of the National Housing Department under the ministry, said the act is modelled after similar acts present in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria.

"The act will cover the tenant as well as the landlord, right now we don't have any tribunal if the tenant has a dispute with their landlord, that is why we want a Residential Tenancy Act," Noorihan told reporters on the sidelines of a conference jointly organised by Cagamas and the World Bank Group entitled "Constructing & Financing Affordable Housing across Asia" here today.

"It will be a positive outcome for rentals in Malaysia, and help people move from ownership to rental, especially the B40 and M40 groups as well as young people transitioning into the working world," she said.

She also reiterated that while the department is looking at assisting the B40 and M40 groups and young professionals, the act would cover all tenancy agreements, landlords and tenants across the country, noting also that there are variances in terms of rental standards and income.

Meanwhile, Noorihan shared that the government continues to look into the establishment of an integrated database system on the housing supply and demand in the country.

"We have tried to integrate with the states' system, but the integration looks unsuccessful due to the difference in systems. We will need to have one system comprising data from all the states together with the federal," she added. — theedgemarkets.com

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