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PAM supports amendments to Strata Title Act

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 14): The Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) is supporting the government’s move to amend the Strata Titles Act 1985 to enable simultaneous issuance of strata titles and vacant possession to property buyers.

The Act will be known as the Strata Management Act (SMA) after the amendment. “The institute welcomes the initiative by the government to ensure prompt delivery of titles to the house and property owners and improvement in the efficiency of the housing delivery system,” said PAM president Saifuddin Ahmad recently in a press statement.

The proposed amendments aim to ensure the rights of buyers of stratified properties and housing are protected. Upon synchronising the system and following the proposed amendment, strata titles will be issued together with the issuance of vacant possession.

As it involves not only one party but all the stakeholders, PAM is of the view that the government must ensure that the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 be amended to be in correlation with the new SMA.

PAM agrees with the government’s suggestion that the process of issuance of strata titles must be initiated as early as at the completion of “super structure stage”.

The completion of the “super structure stage” is defined as the “completion of building works up to the stage of completion of all walls that are necessary for the measurement of all parcels including any accessory parcels and common property needed to be shown on the strata plan”.

Although the developer must submit the proposed strata plan within three months of the issuance of the certification of “super-structure stage”, in practice based on the amended act, the surveyor could carry out survey works much earlier at some parts of the building which has been completed.

In these instances, the plan could be submitted much earlier especially for smaller projects. Upon submission of proposed strata plan by the licensed surveyor, The Department Survey and Mapping Malaysia is to approve within one month the proposed strata plan.

Following the approval and issuance of the certified strata plan by Jupem, the developer, through its licensed surveyor, is required to submit to the Land Office the application for the strata title within one month from the date of approval.

The government has proposed to complete the entire process from submission to the issuance of strata title within nine months from the date of completion of “super structure stage”, therefore targeting to issue strata title with vacant possession.

PAM noted that aside from developers, the stakeholders should involve the Land Office, local authorities, project consultants and contractors.

However, developers should not be penalised for delays beyond their control and end up paying liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD) to the house or property buyers if they are not able to deliver vacant possession with strata title on time, said PAM.

It added that if the delay is beyond the developer’s control, there should be a provision to issue vacant possession without strata title. PAM believes it is important that a new and clear guideline be drawn up for certification on the completion of “super structure stage” as proposed and defined in the new SMA.

Equally important is for the Land Office to have sufficient manpower to speed up strata title issuance once the new Act is implemented, concluded PAM.

This article is appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on Sept 14, 2012.

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