ABANDONED HOUSES: Let rogues pay for hardship to buyers
IT is scandalous that 195 housing projects could have been carried out by unlicensed housing developers. At a conservative estimate of 100 units per project, this means at least 19,500 purchasers were cheated.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry advises house buyers to check the credentials and background of developers before entering into sale and purchase agreements. Where can the public get all this data?
Architects are the ones who submit the plans to the local authorities for approval. Is there no duty on them to ensure they are acting for legitimate developers?
The Land Office plays an important role in the approval of development plans as it gives feedback on the status of the land to the local authority. Did the local authorities approve the plans without referring to the land office, resulting in housing schemes being built on agricultural land and even Malay reserve land?
Should lawyers not have required the developers to produce their housing development licences before agreeing to be their panel lawyers?
When individuals apply for housing loans from banks, the banks require land search, bankruptcy search etc. before processing the applications.
So, how could the banks and their lawyers have approved bridging loans to developers in the first place, then loans to purchasers for properties that obviously did not have clean, registrable titles?
All the wrongful acts by the various parties cannot be dismissed as cases of "oversight".
The same parties, when dealing with ordinary persons, do not have "oversight" of all the requirements!
Thus any action against the rogue architects, local authority officers, bankers and lawyers must be commensurate with the suffering that their actions caused the innocent house buyers.