Make use of tribunal to settle claims, house buyers urged

SIBU: House buyers who have issues pertaining to any breach of their sale and purchase agreements are advised to lodge complaints with the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims, says Michael Tiang.

The Sarawak Deputy Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister II said this would help safeguard their rights as purchasers.

In a statement on Tuesday (March 29), Tiang said buyers often engaged lawyers to handle such disputes.

However, he said, lawyers usually acted for both developers and buyers.

“Most of the time when buyers faced defects with their houses or breaches of the agreement, they would be advised not to lodge complaints with the tribunal but to continue communicating with the developers,” said Tiang.

“Because of that, many times, their (eventual) claims (to the Tribunal) fell outside the validity period,” he added.

Tiang explained that a claim filed with the tribunal should not be made later than 18 months from the date of issuance of the Occupation Permit (OP) or before the defect liability period ends as specified in the sale and purchase agreement.

He hoped that more buyers would familiarise themselves with the Tribunal.

It was set up on May 1, 2010 to provide an alternative to settling housing disputes aside from the courts, and it hears and adjudicates house buyers’ claims such as liquidated ascertained damages, defects of workmanship and noncompliance to specifications as stated in sale and purchase agreements.

All claims filed with the tribunal shall not exceed RM150,000, Tiang added.

He said that in the past three years, the tribunal had settled nearly 300 cases in Sarawak.

Claims may be filed with the tribunal online at

A fee of RM50 is charged for every filing.

The tribunal office can be contacted at 082-312507/312517 or by email at Its website is at

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