Part 2 continues with essential tips when embarking on renovation of your dream home
• Find out what you can and cannot from the Local Authority (LA)
You may require some professional help with this. This item comes after the wish list and budget are done but prior to your soliciting of quotation from a selected builder/ contractor. Most house owners may at this stage and prior to engagement of any consultant, make enquiries at the LA on the building requirements based on the nature of their intended renovation works.
For those who are in the City of Kuala Lumpur, the LA is Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), for those who reside in Petaling Jaya, the likely LA is Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ), and if the renovation is to be done in Subang Jaya/ Seri Kembangan /Puchong vicinity, it is Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ). One could check the assessment bills (where we pay our assessment rates) to verify the related LA.
You may check with the Local Authority on the nature of the renovation; whether it requires a professional to draw up plans and make submissions or a standard form or pre-approved (plans) would suffice. Simple jobs such as a kitchen extension do not require submissions for approval by an architect or draughtsman.
You may also enquire about the scope of works allowed, such as the requisite ‘setback’ requirement, i.e. the minimum distance from the boundary for erecting your building or column and wall, and a check on the height restriction would also be helpful.
• Getting consent from your Management Corporation (MC)
In many gated and guarded community schemes, the Management Corporation (MC) is vested with the right to check the proposed renovation plan to preserve the harmony of the neighbourhood from becoming disjointed/incongruous. The deed of covenants signed when the property was purchased from the developer has a similar purpose. Such deed of covenants would have been adopted as ‘by-laws’/ regulations/ house- rules of the stratified property.
The MC is vested with the right to comment on (and approve) issues ranging from aesthetics, style of design, extent of works, colour scheme, to how the surrounding environments would look like.
HBA opines that despite the good intention of the MC to preserve the integrity of the neigbhourhood, the Local Authority remains the only body to deal with these issues.
Nevertheless, house owners are advised to consult the MC to smoothen your path by amicable arrangements.
• Timing of Renovation works For houses (including those individually built) completed and issued with Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) or Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) or Occupational Certificate (OC), renovation may commence subject to approval of the LA to amend the approved building plan.
As for houses such as terrace, semi-dees, superlinks and zero lots bought from developers, and even individually built ones, ideally you may commence your renovation works after obtaining the CFO/CCC. However, clause 14 of the Sale & Purchase Agreement (Schedule G of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989) allows ‘renovation’ to be carried out concurrently with the construction of the house based on your preferred specifications though with the prior approval of the said developers.
Should you choose to exercise this option, it is paramount that you work out the details of the works and specification while the house is under construction. Remember: it is incumbent on the house owner to co-ordinate closely with the developer.
• Time and manner for carrying out renovation
For those who reside in gated and guarded communities, it is important to check on the con- ditions stated in the deed of covenant/‘by-laws’/ regulations/house rules. In most gated and guar- ded communities, the management corporation (MC) would determine the amount of the deposit so that it may be used to rectify non-compliances by the building contractor engaged by the house owners such as non-removal of building debris, materials or damage to common property such as road and drains, and etc to preserve the integrity of the neigbourhood.
By understanding these conditions, the owners can impose the same on the building contractor at the engagement stage; where a sum owing to the contractor is set aside to meet the same.
For those who are not residing in gated and guarded communities, these non- compliances will expose the house owners to a fine or other sanctions imposed by the local authority. By the same token, a sum owing to the contractor is set aside to meet such contingencies, otherwi- se the fine and sanction will be borne solely by the owners for breaching the laws though not by them but by their contractors.
Time for carrying out such renovations is stipulated by the MC as part of the approved conditions. This restriction is to ensure that con- struction works are limited to the daytime; typi- cal working hours would be 8.00 am to 6.00pm from Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 1pm on Saturday, and no work is allowed to be carried out on Sundays, as it would be a rest day for most residents.
Actually, similar time restrictions would also be imposed by the local authority regardless of whether the property is within a gated and guar- ded community or otherwise. This is to ensure the neigbourhood is not overly burdened so that construction activities do not become a nuisance, especially in the evenings and weekends.
• Aesthetic requirements
This is meant for owners of terrace, semi-dees,superlinks and zero lot bungalows where indiscriminate renovation may affect the appearance and integrity of the neighbourhood and undermine property values.
Try to pay attention and be sensitive to theexisting architectural aesthetics; consult your designer/architect before venturing on renovation affecting the overall aesthetic/ outlook of the building.
• Compliance with Approved Plans Failure to strictly follow the Approved Building
Plan has accounted for many cases of failure to obtain the CFO/CCC/OC .
In some cases, owners had deviated from the approved drawings with/without consulting their architects and engineers, and failed to follow the procedure for obtaining approval of amendments. The result is they suffer setbacks and delays as they were inflicted with a hefty fine by the LA and ordered to stop work at the site until the proper procedure has been complied with.
HBA is a staunch believer in carrying out works in compliance with the requisite LA requirements to cut the unnecessary hassles from the authority; warnings, delays and, not to mention heavy fines by the LA on top of incurring renovation costs. Always comply with the laws and its requirements.
• Financial outlay
Having the financial resources and capital outlay is crucial to the successful completion of the dream renovation works. If at any instance, there is an interruption in the steady stream of money, the progress of the renovation would be affected. One should ensure that one does not bite off more than one can chew.
NATIONAL HOUSE BUYERS ASSOCIATION [HBA]
No. 31, Level 3, Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi, 55100, Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-2142 2225 | 012- 334 5676 Fax: 03-22601803 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.hba.org.my