In a bid to curb property-related frauds, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) created a special committee that will investigate affordable housing scams while new conditions have been introduced to the Advertisement and Sale Permit for property.
This comes as home buyers have lost RM6.2 million to unlicensed developers.
The special committee is tasked to identify the gap between the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 [Act 118] within the jurisdiction of the ministry and the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599) within the jurisdiction of the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK), which focuses on immovable properties or assets, said KPKT Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.
His statement was made in response to Setiu Member of Parliament, Datuk Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh’s question on property purchase fraud cases within the country.
Meanwhile, the new conditions on the Advertisement and Sale Permit sees the housing controller approving property sales advertisement that are intended to be shared in mass media outlets.
“KPKT is aware of frauds committed, even through advertisements in the mass media, be it television or newspaper, which is why the general public can easily be deceived. They assume these are advertisements and products by licensed or legitimate property developers or agents,” said Noh.
“We have issued a circular to the media outlets to inform them of the publishing of future advertisements, whereby for every product or service intended for promotion or sale, the materials will need to be approved by the National Housing Department.”
From 1 January 2013 to 30 October 2017, the National Housing Department received 192 complaints related to property purchase frauds, of which 107 have already been resolved, while the other 85 are still pending, said Noh.
The Tribunal for Homebuyers’ Claim, on the other hand, received 7,413 complaints from 1 January 2014 to 30 September 2017. Noh added that 7,108 cases have been settled as at end-September, while the other 305 are still pending.