Buyer feels cheated by agent & developer

Public Voices (Guest Post)

I have a problem & hope someone can help or advise.

Last month i booked a unit of bayu feringghi condo somewhere around christmas and i paid the booking fees to the sole marketing agent by cheque at the site office as the developer does not have an office in Penang. He let me sign a booking form stating the price, unit no, my name i/c no etc.

A few days later, he told me there are many buyers looking for my unit as it is the last unit at that block. When i quiried him, he assures me that the unit is mine as i have paid the deposit for it.

A few days later he told me that the unit might be classified as a bumi unit and have to wait for confirmation from the developer as their sales has reach bumi quota. He assures me that i have nothing to worry as if my unit is under bumi unit, it is only temporary until the completion reaches 80% and the developer will declassify it from bumi status. However, i cannot sign the s&p yet but i have to sign a supplemental agreement stating the unit and purchase price and i have to increase my deposit by another 10k. Being a purchaser of a bumi unit i will stand to "enjoy" some benefits like the price will remain the same after the bumit unit is released. That means buy now but pay later. And i get to save a few thousand on the housing loan interest as all i need to pay now is the deposit and the balance until the completion has reached 80%. which is about a year later. I gave the agent another cheque for the extra deposit. He did not give me any receipt but acknowledge receipt on the photocopy of the cheque.

A week later, the agent call me and congratulates me as the developer has confirmed that my unit is classified as a bumi unit. He says the solicitor will call me to sign a supplemental agreement soon but i have to change my cheque to pay to the solicitor's firm instead of the developer's name. He will return my previous cheques which he has not paid in yet in exchange for the new cheques.

Yesterday, the agent called me to inform that he wants to return me my cheque and cancell my booking due to objection by some of the directors of the developer. It seems that one of the directors has agreed to sell the bumi units at first and has proceed to do so but the other directors is not agreeable later on.

I feel very angry and cheated.

How can a reputable developer which is listed on the main board of Bursa do such things? And the marketing agent is also reputable being one of the best not only in Penang but worldwide as many of their clients are from MM2H. The agent made many beautiful but very empty promises. Their agents are also listed on this very web side.

What i want to know is can the developer cancell my booking after accepting the deposit for almost a month although they have not paid in my cheque?

I am planning to take some legal action but i need to know if there is any buyer out there facing the same problems? The agent told me there are also other units affected.

Can i lodge a complaint perhaps the Housing Ministry? I would also like to made complaints against the housing agent. Are they licenced? By whom?

Please advise me if you know.

Thank you.



January 24, 2010 at 2:17 AMPenang Fan


January 24, 2010 at 11:25 AMCatherine

Unlikely, unless S&P signed. Else, no contract binding you and the developer. Worst, $ not transacted, deal not closed. And they have a strong case as well, they can call themselves "ethical" for stictly adhere to the law of bumi quota. Once this issue escalate to higher level, developer will be official instructed to recall the unit since to a certain extend, someone is exploiting the law loophole.

If i were you, will will be diplomatic demand a written agreement with the developer, call it compensation of whatever you like, and since this unit will be released sooner or later, and do you wanna be on the top of the list?

January 24, 2010 at 1:54 PMameer

I think he has a case,a strong is to get legal advice..

January 24, 2010 at 2:39 PMLynda

WOW, really need some expert advice, are they trying to sell the BUMI lots earlier with later price?

January 25, 2010 at 5:12 AMPenang Fan

Catherine got it wrong! Once your check is accepted by the agent of the developer and you got a receipt. You got a case. It's not your worries if the check is cashed or not. The agent from the developer has accepted the check and they must honor the reservation.

January 25, 2010 at 5:05 PMMav

If not mistaken, the developer can NOT accept any booking in advance prior to signing of S&P. Hence the reason that the money was given/accepted by either laywer/lawfirm/agent and receipt is issued accordingly. It is legally wrong for them to do any pre-booking (correct me if I'm wrong, that was what a salesperson informed me b4) and the real transaction is done when you sign the S&P.
However the reality is everybody is doing the booking fee arrangement with their lawyers, so if you do not want to follow but wait till booking is opened and the developer obtained their licensing/building/plan permit, then you will find that almost all units are sold!! It's a bitch but that's the reality here in Msia, especially Penang.
On the real legal basis Ben, you would need to ask an actual lawyer then. No one can give you a definite answer, need to spend some $$$ if you want 100% clarification :) Hope this helps...

January 26, 2010 at 3:56 AMpenangproperties78

this is interesting...
reminds me of what i read in central park blog.
at least no names are mentioned here.

if u want the unit, speak to the developer, if u want to sue, speak to your lawyer, simple.

January 26, 2010 at 10:36 AMnoble

U have a case. Action by developer's agent is binding on developer. Go see a lawyer to determine your options.

January 26, 2010 at 6:33 PMpgrent

E&O sales agent didn't want to refund my booking fees of 5k. My lawyer wrote them a letter and file a complaint to Housing Developement Organization. One week later, they told us to go collect the check. I realize that developer tends to bully buyers who dun understand the law very well. My lawyer contact is Ms Tan 04.2286699. U'll know she's damn good when u speak with her

January 27, 2010 at 10:21 AMMav

Keep us posted on yr update Ben. I'm sure a lot of ppl are really interested in the outcome of yr case.

January 27, 2010 at 10:22 AMMav

Oh yea, and good luck :)

February 2, 2010 at 12:28 AMmike

Ben.... u were contacted recently by the professional project marketing team leaders of Reapfield who has expressed some points to you.... were u satisfied with their meeting.... or otherwise....

February 7, 2010 at 12:17 AMben

Thank you to all of you for your suggestions and advise.

Someone from the real estate agent called me last Wednesday wanting to meet me to explain things. But when i inquired what is her proposal to settle this issue, she replied that she needs more time to come up with a solution.

I told her that i only want to purchase the unit at the price and terms which was earlier agreed upon and i will give her sometime to consider and will meet only when she has a solution.

However, until now i have not heard from her.

I have also spoken to a few lawyers and they agreed that i can sue for compensation as the wordings on the booking form stated "I/We also agreed on the purchase" which was siged by my wife & i and "Attended/Sold By" and was signed by the agent.

There was also consideration as the cheque was accepted and acknowledged receipt by the agent.

As the developer nor the agent has offered any solution, i guess i have no other choice but to settle this matter in Court.

March 31, 2010 at 10:57 AMHio Hwi, Audrey

Sue Sue Sue! !! !,Catherine you loud mouth stupidity.If you know nothing dont advice people.

April 6, 2011 at 8:31 PMsufu

i bought a unit at C.E.O on Mar 2006, signed & paid the 1st 10% to the Ideal Developer. Waited for 9 months no any reply from them. The end i cannot stand & asked them what about the S&P. But when i received the S&P which has stamp duty chopped by date on Jan 2007. I asked the Manager she said cannot give me any answer , becos i m not her friend. She just told me go ask my lawyer then write black & white to them... Really BAD Reputation!!!

They gave many empty promises. Now building has done but OC not yet, asked manager she said hv to wait for another 14 working days... late never mind only hv to pay all buyers for late due, rite??

What should i do ?? Any gorvenment department can help ?? Any comments ???