Protection is not guaranteed, Robert Tan tells homebuyers

KUALA LUMPUR: The most important thing prospective homebuyers should know is that protection from errant developers is not guaranteed, said homebuyers’ rights expert and author of Buying Property from Developers: What you need to know and do Robert Tan.

Tan, who is also a legal advisor to the National Housebuyers’ Association said many homebuyers fully trust property developers to deliver, but do not realise that the authorities that give approval to developments do not guarantee the completion and delivery of the property.

He added that in his experience, the best step buyers can take for extra precaution is to choose a reputable developer.

“When homebuyers face problems, for instance if the project is abandoned, stalled, or built shoddily, they assume the developer will take care of their interests and solve the problem,” he said. “But no one can guarantee this, not even the law.”

Tan said the impetus to write the book came about when he heard about an elderly lady who had spent her life savings on a property that eventually failed to be redeemed from the bank, who foreclosed the property.
The directors of the developer then migrated overseas and left the lady without compensation.

“A property investor told me the story. It moved me. A few years later, the thought of writing a book came to mind. I shared it with the managing editor of a publishing company, who encouraged me to write it,” he said.

Tan said he began the research and writing of his book two years ago. “Meeting aggrieved housebuyers at the National Housebuyers’ Association gave me greater insight into their problems,” he said.

Buying Property from Developers: What you need to know and do examines various matters of concern to homebuyers, including sales and purchase agreements, booking fees, developers’ obligations, delivery of vacant possessions, damages for late completion, and procedure for making a claim at the Homebuyers’ Tribunal.

The book is published by Sweet & Maxwell and is available at all leading local bookstores. It retails for RM50.

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