HBA Calls for Stricter Vetting
By: Ivy Chang
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government has started vetting developers’ marketing brochures and advertisements strictly. From July this year, they have been prohibited from advertising free legal fees and other freebies.
Meanwhile, National House Buyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary-general Chang Kim Loong revealed that more restrictions on property ads are in the pipeline.
According to him, HBA has proposed additional regulations to govern such ads under Regulation 8 but that was not included in the amendments to the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989 which came into effect from Dec 1, 2007.
Although not codified in law, the ministry’s licensing department is already using some of HBA’s recommendations administratively when approving developers’ ads and marketing brochures, such as that on free legal fees and other freebies.
Among the prohibitions that may be enforced in the future: Projected monetary returns that cannot be guaranteed or are doubtful in nature (such as projected rental returns); claims of panaromic views unless substantiated; claims that a project is situated at or close to popular or upmarket locations unless proved (also, distance of housing schemes to popular places must be in travelling distance and not map distance); and misleading price tags.
Additionally, Chang disclosed developers are not allowed to use the phrase “10:90 or “5:95 concept” unless the ad clearly states that it is a loan scheme.
“Otherwise, it may give the wrong impression that the development is a 10:90 Build-Then-Sell project,” he explained.
Source: New Straits Times, September 11, 2009
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