High Court allows civil suit by 107 condo buyers against developer

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The High Court here today allowed a civil suit brought by 107 buyers against the developer of a condominium project known as “The Meridin @ Medini in Johor Bahru” for breaching the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989 which caused them to suffer losses.

Judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, who is the trial judge in the case said the court found that Tropika Istimewa Development Sdn Bhd as defendant had misrepresented to the plaintiffs (107 home buyers) that they were entering in a Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) to purchase the property and not the purchase of the lease.

“Based on the reasons elaborated, the court is satisfied that the plaintiffs have proven their claims against the defendant. Therefore, the court allowed the claim with RM30,000 costs,” he said.

Justice Mohd Sofian who is currently a Court of Appeal Judge also granted a declaration sought by the plaintiffs that the sales and purchase agreement is invalid and contravened of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966, the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989, the National Land Code 1965 and Strata Titles Act 1985.

Justice Mohd Sofian allowed the plaintiffs’ relief that the defendant is required to comply and shall be bound by the terms and conditions as prescribed in Schedule H of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989. He also granted an order that the defendant shall pay the plaintiffs’ damages to be assessed by the court and order that defendant shall pay the plaintiffs Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LAD) for the late delivery of vacant possession.

READ: Housing Development Act (HDA): 6 Things Malaysian home buyers should know

According to the statement of claim, the plaintiffs said Iskandar Investment Berhad as the proprietor has granted a lease on the land to Medini Land Sdn Bhd for 99 years commencing from April 15, 2013 and expiring on April 14, 2112.

The plaintiffs claimed that by a Lease Purchase Agreement dated Oct 18, 2012 signed between Medini Land and the defendant, Medini Land agreed to sell the said lease and the defendant agreed to purchase the said lease upon the terms and conditions as contained in the Lease Purchase Agreement.

The plaintiffs contended that the defendant was also granted a right to develop the land as a stratified housing development and to sell the lease over the strata units in the project and the plaintiffs had made a payment of RM10,000 being an earnest deposit to the defendant for the purpose of purchasing a parcel in the said project including a parking lot.

Upon execution of the agreement, the plaintiffs paid the balance 10 per cent of the purchase price and from time to time, the plaintiffs paid the balance purchase price progressively to the defendant either by cash or loan financing by the banks.

The plaintiffs said premised on the terms and conditions as stated in the agreement, the defendant had falsely represented or misrepresented on following matters including that the plaintiffs can be registered as the lessee of the lease over the strata parcel under the provision of the National Land Code 1965 and the Strata Titles Act 1985.

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As a result of the false representation or misrepresentation by the defendant, the plaintiffs had incurred losses and damages which the defendant is liable to pay to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs said the agreement entered between the plaintiffs and the defendant has failed to comply with the provisions of the existing law, in breach of the statutory in Schedule H of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989. The plaintiffs said any amendments made by the defendant in the agreement which is inconsistence with the terms and conditions as found in the regulation shall be invalid and shall not be binding on the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant had acted wrongly in breach of the provisions of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966, National Land Code 1965, Strata Titles Act 1985 and the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989 when the dividing the sales and purchase agreement into two separate sales and purchase agreements for the unit and the parking lot.

The plaintiffs further claimed that the defendant had acted wrongly in breach of all provisions when amending the time period of delivery of vacant possession from 36 months to 48 months.

When met by reporters after the proceedings, the National House Buyers Associations’ secretary-general Datuk Chang Kim Loong expressed his gratitude over today’s decision. Lawyer Datuk Andy Wong, represented the buyers and Marcus Tan for Tropika Istimewa Development Sdn Bhd.

— BERNAMA


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