The National Housing Buyers Association (HBA) is not in favour of introducing a law requiring its agency to handle a two-month security deposit for rented properties. According to HBA secretary-general Datuk Chang Kim Loong, the move would add more layers of red tape and inconvenience both the property owner and tenant in the long run.
“How long will the procedure take if the owner wants money to make repairs or pay bills? When will the renters who generally spend the deposit for another home receive their money?”
"The entire process of filing a claim, dealing with administration, and then going to a tribunal will take months and will help neither the owner nor the renter."
"Knowing government agencies, getting your money back is never simple," Chang was reported as saying in response to the government's offering.
Meanwhile, Malaysia's Housing and Local Government Ministry is seeking feedback on the proposed legislation.
The ministry proposed that a Comptroller of Residential Tenancy be authorised to oversee security deposits that would be maintained under a neutral agency in the proposed Survey and Drafting of the Residential Tenancy Act.
The ministry also stated this would better resolve any conflict between landlord and tenant later. The security deposit was to be returned to the tenant once the tenancy agreement expired, provided there were no expenses that needed to be deducted from the rent.
In the event of a dispute, Chang mentioned that the matter will be taken to a tribunal. There are 198 abandoned housing projects that have not been resolved, he said.
He also pointed out that the survey had reached out to only 3,119 respondents whereby 2,015 of them, or 65%, are renters, implying that the poll may be biassed in favour of tenants' interests.
The survey is being conducted among 87 percent of a certain ethnic group within the Klang Valley only given a sample size of 0.009 percent of the total population in the country. Other cities, towns and capitals of various states in Malaysia are not involved.
However, Chang agreed that the proposed Bill had numerous admirable provisions, including the formation of a tribunal to resolve conflicts because the compensation process in courts may be too expensive.
According to The Star, the survey was circulated to stakeholders such as the HBA, Real Estate and Housing Developers Association, management committees, joint management organisations, and resident groups, among others.