CONTRACT – SALE AND PURCHASE OF PROPERTY – DELIVERY OF VACANT POSSESSION

John signed a sale and purchase agreement (“SPA“) with developer Y in the year 2012 to purchase properties in the later housing plan. The SPA, on the other hand, followed the one established in schedule H of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989 (“the HDR“) with one exception: instead of 36 months, the SPA specified 54 months for vacant possession of the properties to be given to the plaintiffs. The Minister had apparently approved the EOT for 54 months in 2010. The delivery of vacant possession of their respective properties to John was in January 2017. In the ruling in Ang Ming Lee, John sued developer Y, claiming that the controller’s extension of time (“EOT”) was unlawful and that the parties were obligated to use the mandated SPA laid forth in schedule H, which only allows for a 36-month completion term. 

Q: Does the developer have the power to deviate from the terms prescribed in the statutory contract of sale in Schedule H of the HDR? 

A: Yes, back then Ang Ming Lee had not been decided. As a result, the only method for a developer to get an EOT was to hand up vacant possession and stray from the Schedule H requirements. The notion that the defendant was wrong to deviate from the terms only comes in the year 2020. 

Q: Can John argue that he has no knowledge of the extension of time? 

A: No, the reason behind this was if Developer Y obtained an extension of time before John signed the SPA. This shows that John has knowledge of the extension of time obtained by developer Y before the project begins. 

Q: Can John raise an argument in the validity of the extension of time? 

A: Yes, because the EOT is a Ministry of Housing and Local Government decision, it can only be contested through a judicial review and a writ action.

Q: Is it possible for John to file a claim for LAD before the limitation period expires?

A: It depends on when did John file a claim for LAD against developer Y for late delivery of vacant possession. This is because the cause of action accrues on the date of the SPA and not when vacant possession was delivered.

This legal updates were made based on the recent decision of the court in Chin Kok Woo & Ors v Sky Park Properties Sdn Bhd & Ors [2022] 10 MLJ 153. 

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