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(File pix) Buy from developers who are reliable and trustworthy.
(File pix) Buy from developers who are reliable and trustworthy.

DODGY developers and those with a bad reputation pose a scary prospect for property buyers.

It is important you purchase from a reputable and reliable developer.

How to detect a bad developer?

A dodgy developer is one who operate without licences, with abandoned projects, exploit loopholes and makes you chase after them constantly.

A bad developer gets bogged down in problems with financial or management issues, cuts corners and ends up doing a poor job. Its lack of quality workmanship can result in major issues such as crumbling and cracking interior walls, making the property uninhabitable.

The worst that could happen is the value of your property falling way below the buying price as per the sales and purchase agreement.

A first time house buyer needs to do a lot of research on good and reputable developers.

Even some luxury property developers in the Klang Valley have issues and you are likely to regret if you have bought a property from them, said a senior real estate consultant.

“You need to talk to property experts and do a lot of research. Property experts know the market inside out and which developers to steer clear of.

“If you are interested in a product by a particular developer, look up the Internet and find out if there are any buyers who have had issues with the developer. Don’t fall for double-digit discounts and freebies. That is just a way to lure buyers,” said the consultant.

If you buy a property without any help or due diligence, you may fall victim to a developer’s smooth talk, he said.


There are many property developers around and this can create quite a challenge, especially when it comes to identifying the bad eggs in what is generally a well-respected industry, says PropertyGuru Malaysia in an article entitled, “Who Are Some Of The Developers In Malaysia To Avoid?” on its website.

“Buying property is one of the most significant financial investments in an individual’s life. That’s true whether you’re an excited homeowner purchasing your first home, or a keen property investor expanding his extensive portfolio.

“You want to know that the money you shell out is going towards an asset that’s worth the value you’ve paid. You wouldn’t rush into a swimming pool without knowing how deep it is, so why would you rush into a huge financial investment without testing the waters?

“If you want to avoid sinking into murky waters of a bad property investment, it’s important to take time and consider the right steps,” it said.

(File pix) Buying from a dodgy developer may result in buyers losing money due to issues such as unfinished projects and bad quality workmanship.
(File pix) Buying from a dodgy developer may result in buyers losing money due to issues such as unfinished projects and bad quality workmanship.


1.Do research

Research is the most important aspect before buying a property. You need to be aware of the quality of the developer, the product it develops, and past issues, if any.

“Large developers with reputable track records will have a substantial online presence, clearly showing the work they have completed in previous developments. You can use this to measure how comfortable you will be using these developers,” said PropertyGuru.

2.Check the blacklist

The Housing and Local Government Ministry has an updated list of blacklisted developers in Malaysia so that buyers will be aware and exercise caution if they want to buy from them.

They have been blacklisted for a number of reasons.

These developers are grouped in four lists — unlicensed developers, developers who defied the Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims (TTPR), developers who failed to pay their compounds and developers with abandoned housing projects.

3.Visit the site

If you are interested in a particular developer with an ongoing project or it is about to launch soon, spare some time to visit the site. This is one of the best methods to understand the product and the area that you are eyeing.

Don’t always believe everything that a developer tells you when you visit the sales gallery.

“A true property development should have physical evidence — (for example) the site of a building being constructed. Don’t be that mad Internet investor who hands over your life savings to some unknown developer without having seen some evidence that a property will actually be built,” said PropertyGuru.

4.Request company details

Dodgy developers will set up as private companies, so they are not obliged to disclose company information to the public. A smart investor, however, can get company details from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) to find out who are the people behind it.

PropertyGuru advises the public to stay away from developers whose directors have a whole list of failed companies and bad investments behind him.

5.Too good to be true?

If a developer offers unsuspecting investors and buyers with an offer that seems too good to be true, investigate further before putting your money on the table.

“If you’re being offered a two-bedroom condo unit in Mont Kiara for RM300,000, someone either forgot about an extra ‘0’, or isn’t telling you the truth. Always ask the question if it’s too good to be true, and take your time to find out why if you’re worried,” said PropertyGuru.

6.Trust a professional

If you’re in doubt about a property purchase, speak to professionals such as real estate agents and negotiators, as they may know more than what you can discover from the Internet or from the developer.

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