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Housebuyers get free legal team for appeal

The Star 17/09/2003

KUALA LUMPUR: The National House Buyers Association (HBA) has assembled a panel of lawyers for the second time to offer free legal services to 50 house buyers appealing against a recent High Court decision, which declared that the housing tribunal has no jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes that arose before Dec 1 last year.

HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the number of lawyers volunteering their legal expertise on a pro bono basis has also increased to about 20.

Twelve lawyers had rendered their free services to the housebuyers when housing developers, Puncakdana Sdn Bhd and Westcourt Corp Sdn Bhd, applied for a judicial review at the High Court against the awards given by the tribunal in favour of six housebuyers who had made claims for late delivery of their houses and failure to complete the common facilities.

“This case is a matter of public interest as it will affect thousands of housebuyers and these lawyers feel that it is a worthy cause,” he said at the HBA headquarters on Sunday.

Last week, the Government filed an appeal against the High Court decision and Chang said they would do so by this week.

The tribunal was established via amendments made to the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act vide the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) (Amendment) Act to circumvent the normal court procedure which was deemed to financially exhaustive for aggrieved housebuyers.

The amended Act was given Royal Assent on Jan 23, 2002 and came into force on last Dec 1.


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