Photo Credit Borneo Post
clock 14-08-2023
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Abandoned Housing Development Plan Charged With Criminal Offence

The Sabah State Legislative Assembly passed the amendment to the 2023 Housing Development (Control and Licence) Enactment on 10th August. Developers who fail to take responsibility for completing the project on time will be punished more severely and may be prosecuted for criminal offences.

When presenting this bill, Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah and Minister of Local Government and Housing, Datuk DR Joachim Gunsalam stated that the housing development in Sabah is regulated by the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1978 and its department is responsible for enforcement.

He said that the Act plays the role of protecting the interests of homebuyers and was last amended in 2007.

After 2007, the government found it necessary to amend and update this law to curb the wind of abandoned houses in the state. In particular, it is needed to assist homebuyers who have purchased “sick” houses, so that “sick housing projects will not deteriorate into abandoned housing projects.

He said: “This amendment is necessary because the existing statute does not adequately protect homebuyers who face ‘sick’ projects and we want to make sure that the same problem doesn't happen again in the future.”

He said that the amendment is also to ensure that developers are under supervision. Under management and control, the project can be completed efficiently.

Only the following three conditions are met can it be defined as an abandoned housing plan:

  1. The project was not completed on the date stipulated in the sale and purchase agreement. The project consultant and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing agree that there has been no evident operational activity on the construction site for 6 consecutive months. 

  2. The developer sends a letter to the housing control officer, acknowledging that it is unable to complete the housing project.

  3. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing declared the housing project to be abandoned under Section 11 of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing Act 1978. He said that the new Clause 20A has increased penalties to ensure that licensed developers are serious and responsible in completing housing projects on time.

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