Search Articles

Find tips, tools and how-to guides on every aspect of property

Simultaneous delivery of Strata titles with Vacant Possession (VPST) to be a reality


It has been established in 2015, that developers of new property projects are supposed to deliver strata titles concurrently upon the delivery of vacant possession (VPST). However, this legal requirement has not been properly carried out in Malaysia due to some “technical problems”. HBA recently raised this issue with PEMUDAH, who agreed that the VPST must be made a reality to safeguard homebuyers’ interests. PEMUDAH will play an aggressive role in facilitating and finding solutions to deal with this VPST issue.

© B-C Images | Getty Image

Amendments to the Housing and Strata Titles legislation

In 2013, the Malaysian Parliament passed the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act, 1966 (amended 2012) and the Strata Titles Act, 1985 (amended 2013), which made major changes to the laws on the issuance of strata titles. The new laws, which came into force on 1st June 2015, are stricter on the process of the segregation of the master title by the property developer.  In addition, it mandated that developers must apply for strata titles within 3 months of the completion of the superstructure and they should be ready upon vacant possession of the property.

With these amended Acts in place, property purchasers can be confident of getting their strata titles. The floodgate of housing developers not applying for strata titles has been closed with this initiative. The changes led by the new strata regime will, to a certain extent, address the inadequacies and shortcomings faced by the old strata laws and provide adequate protection to homebuyers. After all, homebuyers are a property developer’s customers and should be treated with dignity and not be shortchanged.

To ensure that strata titles can be obtained eventually, under Section 6(1) of the Strata Management Act 2013, the Schedule of Parcels (‘SiFus’) must be filed with the Commissioner of Building before property developers can sell any parcel or proposed parcel. The new regime of law even requires developers to comply with all the prerequisites before proceeding with any sale of a parcel.

This deliverance of vacant possession simultaneously with strata titles’ (VPST) has been somehow delayed these last few years since its inception because of some ‘alleged technical problems’. This delay has led the National House Buyers Association (HBA) to question why the concept of VPST was delayed. Was it deliberate or otherwise? Was there a shortage of manpower at the land office or non-committal action between the professional bodies? Or was someone inaccurately interpreting the application of the laws?

We do not wish to dwell on the technical aspects; neither fault findings in this article nor the reasons for the indecisiveness in applying technical attributes to accomplish VPST. Important thing is that the technical issues have been ironed out and more clarity made. 

PEMUDAH: VPST must be made a reality

HBA eventually highlighted the issues to the ‘Technical Working Group on Dealing with Construction Permits’ under the auspices of the Special Task Force to facilitate business, known by its acronym: PEMUDAH and presented a working paper with the theme: ‘Has VPST been Thwarted?’. The technical group is made up of professional bodies, stakeholders, trade organizations and related government agencies. Countless meetings and workshops were convened and all expressed their concerns and eventually reached a workable consensus.

HBA is pleased with the authoritative and timely announcement recently by PEMUDAH, which was chaired by the past Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and co-chaired by Dato Dr Ir Andy Seo, inter alia:

PEMUDAH meeting on 26.9.2022 …”has decided that the Government must continue to safeguard house buyers (condominium and apartments) by ensuring the process of vacant possession simultaneously with the issuance of strata titles. The office of the Director of Land & Mines, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur (PTGWPKL) has been nominated to be the benchmarker for this process. This process (VPST) has been introduced since June 2015, however, they are many developers who have not been able to accomplish to issue vacant possession simultaneously with strata titles.”

PEMUDAH will play an aggressive role in facilitating and finding solutions to deal with this VPST issue.

Find out What is Strata Title and why is it important for homeowners?

Most developers are not able to achieve VPST

© seaonweb | 123rf

The Minister of Housing in a written response on 3rd August 2022 acknowledged that there have been numerous cases of housing developers not being able to achieve the target of VPST whereupon he had issued an extension of time (EOT), albeit with conditions, to 638 cases notwithstanding that the laws were implemented since 1.6.2015.

From the 638 applications from housing developers, there were 488 first-time applications whilst the balance of 150 applied for a second extension. The following is an excerpt of the applications:

YearFirst EOTSecond EOT

We understand that throughout Peninsular Malaysia, 19 housing projects (13 in Kuala Lumpur; 5 in Selangor and 1 project in Johor) have successfully achieved VPST without the need for any EOT. All Land Offices were directed to benchmark PTGWPKL since they have a simplified version of a flow chart for achieving their success story in VPST.

Recommendations to enhance VPST compliance

At the recent meeting on 25th November 2022 chaired by Dato Dr Ir Andy Seo, HBA presented our proposal to enhance the compliance of the VPST process by offering the following recommendations:

  • National Housing Department aka Jabatan Perumahan Negara (JPN) under the Ministry of Housing to establish One Stop Centre (OSC) to coordinate and monitor VPST applications similar to OSC 3.0+ and to come under Tan Sri Teo Chiang Kok, co-chair of TWGDCP:
  • All Land Offices throughout Peninsular Malaysia aka Pejabat Tanah & Galian (PTG) and JPN should not work in silos and should work together with the theme “JPN to lead and establish OSC with the Land Offices to coordinate and monitor VPST applications and towards making VPST a Reality”:
  • HBA suggest that JPN must establish the OSC VPST and convene a monthly meeting with the Department of Director-General of Lands & Mines aka Jabatan Ketua Pengarah Pejabat Tanah & Galian, Putrajaya (JKPTG), PTGWPKL (bench-marker) inviting Real Estate & Housing Developers Association (REHDA), HBA and other Stakeholders to coordinate VPST application and issues related to granting of EOT (to deliver VP with proofs of letter from the respective land offices), whether there is a need for extension of 6 or 12 months for strata titles issuance;
  •  JPN to adopt a ‘track and trace’ of the VPST processes.


With the mushrooming of high-rise buildings (vertical strata titles) and gated and guarded housings (Horizontal strata titles), it is inevitable that our country moves towards the improved comprehensive regime to better govern the fundamental need of modern society – owning a home, forming communities and living in a shared environment.

The changes will, to a certain extent, address the inadequacies and shortcomings faced by the old strata laws loopholes and provide adequate protection to purchasers without being shortchanged.

There have been enough cases of distressful consequences experienced by property owners when their developers have deliberately failed, neglected or refused to apply for and transfer the strata titles to purchasers, even when the latter have paid in full. There are many cases of errant developers becoming defunct whereupon Liquidators were appointed.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More Articles