We’ve not given extension of time for new housing schemes, says Zuraida

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Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says her ministry is strict about not granting extension of time to housing developers.

PUTRAJAYA: Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says her ministry is very particular in granting extension of time (EOT) for housing projects.

She said the EOT granted previously was for projects that had yet to start.

Ongoing projects don’t get such EOT easily from the government, she added.

“Under the new government, we have not given any EOT yet for ongoing projects,” she told reporters during the pre-launch ceremony for affordable housing projects by the private sector in Putrajaya today.

She was responding to claims by the House Buyers Association (HBA) that the new government is continuing the former administration’s practice of giving property developers EOT.

HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong told FMT he was disappointed that the ministry had approved 75% (or 46) EOT applications between January and July and 78% (or 93) EOT applications in 2018.

Chang, who in the past had criticised the Barisan Nasional government for giving EOT at the expense of house buyers, said the reasons cited by the ministry were “unacceptable”.

Under the statutory sale and purchase agreement (SPA), a housing developer is supposed to complete and hand over a unit to a buyer within a stipulated time frame – 24 months for a landed property and 36 months for a stratified property.

Failure will result in the developer having to pay damages to the buyer.

However, under special circumstances, the developers can appeal to the housing controller or the urban wellbeing, housing & local government minister for an EOT, which allows them to extend the delivery date of the unit without needing to pay such damages.