INVESTING in real estate can be stressful, from finding the property that you like, getting your lawyers to finalise the deal to getting the bank to approve your loan.

But once all that are done and after two to three years of waiting, the two most nerve-racking questions of purchasers, especially first-time buyers, are: when do you get the keys to your new house and what do you need to do next?

According to PropertyGuru, there are seven things that you should know when receiving the keys to your new house from the developer.

1. DELIVERY OF VACANT POSSESSION:

Delivery of vacant possession is when the property is ready to be handed to you. This usually happens between 24 and 36 months from when you made the initial down payment for the property and signed the sales and purchase agreement. By this time, construction work usually has ended and the building is complete and ready to be lived in.

When the property is about 70 per cent complete, you will receive a letter from the developer to set a date for when you can take delivery of vacant possession. When the property is finally completed, you will need to turn up at their sales office to formally collect the property. On the same day you collect the property, you will also receive a copy of the certificate of completion and compliance (CCC).

2. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION AND COMPLIANCE:

Formerly known as the certificate of fitness (CF), the CCC is a document released by the local authority council that declares a particular property is completed and safe to be occupied. Also known as Borang F, Perakuan Siap dan Pematuhan, this document is endorsed by a registered member of the Malaysian Board of Architects.

Legally speaking, the CCC is a requirement stated in the sales and purchase agreement. So, when you take possession of the property, make sure that your house has already been granted a CCC.

3. SIGN A FORM WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE KEY:

When you meet the developer to take delivery of vacant possession, you will need to sign several documents to mark your acceptance of keys to your new property. Once you sign the documents and write down the date, the defect liability period for your property begins.

Part of this set of documents will include a simple list of the lighting fixtures, appliances, electrical sockets and other built-ins.

4. DEFECT LIABILITY PERIOD:

The defect liability period can also be thought of as the “warranty” period. House owners will be given 18 to 24 months to check and report any defects, poor workmanship or irregularities from sales and purchase agreement.

However, it is best to do a thorough check as soon as possible. The practical reason being that the house is empty and it is easier to fix anything before you move in.

The developer will usually provide a defect complaint form that lists the common areas in the house. Use it to mark out any problems you find, such as loose electrical sockets, misaligned flooring, etc. Even if you think it is a tiny little problem, mark it out for the developer to take a look. If you ignore it, you will have to bear the cost to fix it later on.

5. GET THE CONTACT FOR THE MANAGEMENT OFFICE:

The shared common areas and well-being of the condominium estate or gated community will be managed by a new entity commonly known as management office.

Usually, the management will be selected by the developer and before the residential committee is set up.

Get in touch with them for assistance on the monthly maintenance fees, sinking fund collection as well as the rules and regulation of the property. Generally speaking, when you sign the property handover form for a condominium, it will also include an invoice for the first three months of property maintenance.

6. APPLY FOR UTILITIES:

Some developers plan ahead and ask you to apply for various utilities even while the property is being built. Others may only ask you to do it after.

In any case, it is best to get these done as soon as possible. Typical utilities applications include:

a) Electricity supply: Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s new account application

b) Water supply: Syabas water supply application (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor)

c) Gas supply (if piped in): Gas Malaysia’s natural gas supply application

d) Internet: Telekom Malaysia UniFi (or others) new account application

7. SPACE PLANNING:

Now that you have sorted out the major items with the developer and the management, it is time to get the interior sorted out.

It is best if you can decide all the renovation or improvements that you wish to do before you move in. It’ll be much easier for the contractors and interior designers to do their work when the house is still empty.

However, you need to remember to leave a deposit cheque with the management office before you carry out any deliveries or renovation work.

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