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Property Buyers Beware


Advice from DBKK to Property Buyers.

DBKK: Check for unsettled rates before signing S&P

Kota Kinabalu: Property buyers were on Monday advised to check for outstanding assessments or rates before signing Sales and Purchase agreements.

City Hall Deputy Director-General (Corporate), Bahari Haji Hassan stressed this was especially important for properties which have yet to be issued with their individual sub-divided or subsidiary titles.

In a recent dialogue between City Hall and the Sabah Law Association (SLA), he said, among the reasons for unsettled assessment bills here was because City Hall was not informed about the transfers of properties, hence, burdening incoming property owners with the outstanding assessment bills.

"Without information of the new owners, assessment bills would still be sent by City Hall to the previous owner on record. The new owner may not know of the accumulating assessments and interests."

Meanwhile, SLA President, Datuk John Sikayun gave his backing to City Hall in solving such matters, pointing out they will issue circulars to notify all lawyers, members and non-members, to be aware of the need to inform City Hall or the Local Authority of the change of ownership in such cases.

In addition, the SLA will also advise all lawyers to update City Hall on details of any aborted sales of properties.

A joint statement here, Friday, said the City Hall will also approach the Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Shareda) to seek the cooperation of developers to require the settlement of outstanding assessment bills before consenting to the assignment of properties.

Towards this end, City Hall will see if there were any laws that need to be amended or passed.

In the case of properties without title deeds that are being auctioned off, City Hall will request the assistance from auctioneers to notify City Hall of successful auctions and particulars of the successful bidders and to ensure payment of assessments.

These conditions will be sought to be included as a condition for the issuance of the auctioneer's license.

SLA in its effort to promote and raise awareness on consumer issues, especially on properties, concurred that lawyers should inform property owners on the difference between service fee and property rates, where the former is being paid to the management of common properties in developments such as apartments and complexes while the latter is for providing services such as garbage collection, streetlights maintenance, drain clearing, grass cutting and sewerage system.

Properties with existing or intended subsidiary (strata) titles attract both assessments and management fees. Landed properties such as terrace and semi-detached houses need only pay assessments. All landed properties also attract annual rent which is payable to the Land Office and not to City Hall/District Office.

SLA's intended actions above will cover other Local Authorities in addition to City Hall.

Source : Daily Express, Saturday, 15 August 2009

Useful link ~ Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK) / Kota Kinabalu City Hall Website


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