Buying a property comes with these fairly common problems. Avoid a nightmare by handling these correctly. Learn the best action you should take.


What’s suitable and what’s NOT for inspecting property defects?

Property Defects

The property is delivered to you by the developer with defects, in poor condition or shoddy workmanship. This may include deviation from proposed materials, poor quality of materials, uneven surfaces, leaking plumbing, structural defects and a sinking foundation.

  • Cause: Often caused by unscrupulous or inexperienced contractors and/or developers.
  • Occurrence: 13% of reported issues by home buyers.

What to Do

  • Submit property defects list for developer to make good in a timely manner.
  • Mark defects with detachable stickers and provide additional information if necessary on defects.
  • If unsatisfactory rectification by developer, hire your own contractor and file a Homebuyer’s Tribunal claim (up to RM50,000) or take court action for costs incurred.
  • Buy property from developers with a good reputation for good build quality.


  • File a tribunal claim even if Defect Liability Period (DLP) is expired within 12 months.
  • File a court action as within 6 years from Vacant Possession (VP).

What NOT to Do

  • Thrash your own unit (or getting someone to thrash your unit) as you are hurting/voiding your own defect claim.
  • Act like a thug threatening people, demanding monetary compensation, and showing malicious intent.
  • Use spray paint to mark defects.
  • File complaint with the wrong authority/party resulting in a waste of time and effort.
  • Doing nothing as a “victim” as it is a long tiring process and not expecting any results.
  • Doing nothing once the Defect Liability Period (DLP) is over.


Late Delivery

The developer fails to complete the property (completion) and hand over the keys (vacant possession). The duration is calculated from the Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA) date. The period for handing over keys is 24 months for landed property and 36 months for subdivided property (ie condominium). This can be extended to 48 months for residential strata property p