Legal Buzz

Contact Us :

Keeping Your Business Out Of  Trouble And On Track

Issues 12

Family Day 2015 @
Sunway Lagoon

Location: Sunway Lagoon

Amendment to the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing)(Amendment) Act 2001, paved the way for homebuyers to bring an action against developers in a Tribunal. It is indeed a kind of relief for some homebuyers as they have the option to refer their complaints to a Tribunal. A Tribunal is comparatively faster and cheaper compare to actions brought to the normal process of court. Homebuyers complaints referred to Tribunal need not necessarily be represented by solicitors and do not have to go through the normal lengthy and complicated process of court. However, it is prudent for homebuyers get advice from their solicitors before referring their claim to the Tribunal. It is important for homebuyers to determine at the initial stage of what are causes of actions against a developer. Homebuyers may not be familiar with what type of actions they could take against a developer and the probable amount they could claim in each action.

Although it is relatively easier and faster for homebuyers to get their claim settled in a Tribunal, there is a limitation to claims in the Tribunal. A homebuyer can only claim up to RM25,000.00 in each cause of action against a developer. So, although, a claim may be more than RM25,000.00 a homebuyer taking his claim to a homebuyers Tribunal has to relinquish his rights for the remaining amount. Once a homebuyer gets his claim settled in a Tribunal he is prohibited to bring an action to any other jurisdiction for the remaining amount he relinquish in Tribunal action.


A homebuyer, nevertheless, may have several causes of action against a developer. A homebuyer may have a claim on the defect of the house, or the house built is not according to the plan of the house in which another separate claim can be brought before the Tribunal. It means a homebuyer may bring several separate claims against a developer at the homebuyers Tribunal. For each claim a homebuyer may claim up to a limit of RM25,000.00. In any event, homebuyers cannot split the claim.

There are several points need to be taken cognisance of by homebuyers who intend to bring any case before the Tribunal. It is pertinent to make sure that all actions against a developer must be initiated not later than 12 months from issuance of certificate of fitness for occupation or 12 months from the expiry date of the defects liability period of 18 months. It is in this instance homebuyers are advised to seek legal opinion to determine the limitation period and to help them to take all the necessary steps and to prepare all documentations in an orderly manner.

Homebuyers have to bear in mind that once a claim is referred to a Tribunal, similar action cannot be brought to any other jurisdiction such as civil court. The only exception for them to be able to bring their claims before a civil court is in the event their claims at a Tribunal is either withdrawn, abandoned or struck out by the Tribunal. However, once the Tribunal makes an order on the amount, it cannot be an excuse for homebuyers to seek higher amount in a civil court action.

Homebuyers are nevertheless, despite the simplicity of referring their claims before a Tribunal, advised to seek opinion from their solicitors to plan their claims in an orderly manner in order to avoid missing important points in getting fair hearing for desired claim.