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Act 118 & DLP: Understanding Malaysia's Housing Rights

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Learn your rights under the Housing Development Act (control and licensing) 1966 to protect Malaysian homebuyers. Includes the Defect Liability Period (DLP) for developers to fix home defects and tips on dealing with developers.

When it comes to buying a home in Malaysia, there are many considerations to take into account. One of the most important aspects is understanding your rights under the law, specifically the Act 118. In this article, we’ll discuss Act 118 and its implications for homeowners.

We'll also be taking a closer look at one of the key provisions of the Act 118. The Defect Liability Period (DLP). This provision requires developers to rectify any defects in the homes they’ve built for a set period of time after completion. We'll explain how this works, and share some tips on how homeowners can protect their rights under the Act 118 and DLP when dealing with developers.

Whether you're a new homeowner looking to understand your rights, or an experienced homeowner seeking advice on alternative dispute resolution, this article has something for everyone. Let's get started!

What Is the Housing Development Act?

The Housing Development Act (control and licensing) 1966 is a set of laws that helps protect the rights of buyers when they purchase property. The Act 118 provides consumer protection and specifies the obligations of developers, as well as the procedures they must adhere to in order to build and sell properties.

Under this system, developers must build in accordance with certain accepted standards and, should any defects arise after completion of a project, they are obligated to repair or rectify these defects throughout a period specified by law. This period is known as the Defect Liability Period (DLP). A DLP typically begins on the date of handover or completion and lasts for 24 months in most cases, although some HDAs stipulate different periods for different kinds of buildings.

Any defect or issue must be reported by the buyer to the developer during this period so that necessary remedial action can be taken - and it's important to keep track of any defects that arise, since any failure to do so may void your warranty rights after the DLP expires. This also includes provisions for alternative dispute resolution through arbitration or mediation if needed.

Exploring the Defect Liability Period

The Defect Liability Period (DLP) is a pivotal part of the Housing Development Act (control and licensing) 1966. It places responsibility on developers to rectify any defects in their homes for a certain period of time after completion, and it's important to understand what it means for homeowners.

Essentially, the DLP sets out the duration in which developers must ensure that their homes are free from any defects, making sure that all workmanship fully meets the relevant standards. The standard DLP period is 36 months, meaning that all defects must be rectified within three years of construction or occupancy. However, developers can opt for a longer DLP period if they wish.

The DLP applies to all types of residential developments in Malaysia, such as apartments and terrace houses. Developers are liable for any defects discovered within the DLP period, even if those defects were caused by third-party subcontractors or suppliers. They are also obligated to provide alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for resolution at no cost to homeowners should an issue arise during this time frame.

Obligations of Developers Under DLP

Under Malaysia's DLP, developers have certain responsibilities. They are obliged to inspect the house and notify the purchaser in writing and within 14 days of any defects. They must also rectify any defects for a period of 24 months from the date of Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC), or 12 months from the date of completion where there is no CCC in place. This means that if you buy a property from a developer, they are legally bound to rectify any defects that arise within two years of your purchase.

These defects have to be corrected. No matter how small. Common issues include door and window leakage, plumbing problems, wall cracks and electrical wiring defects. What’s more, developers can also be liable for compensating you for any losses incurred due to the delay in rectifying any defect or if they fail to abide by their obligations under the Act.

It’s important to note that if you don’t make your developer aware of any defects within 14 days of its occurrence you won't be eligible under the Act 118 for them to rectify it during the DLP period. That's why it's always good practice (and your legal right) to document anything that doesn't look quite right after inspection.

How to Notify Developers of Defects

You might not know that you need to notify developers of any defects that you find in your unit, and you must do so as soon as possible. By notifying the developer as soon as possible, you can help prevent further damage from occurring and potentially save yourself money.

The Act states that you should notify the developer of your unit's defects in writing within 14 days of the Defect Liability Period's start date. In addition, it is important to provide details of the defective work in order for the developer to rectify it.

When notifying the developer of a defect, be sure to include:

  1. The date on which you discovered the defect
  2. Details of when and where the defect occurred
  3. A description of the damage sustained
  4. Photographs or videos if available
  5. Any other relevant details related to your case

Notifying developers timely will ensure that they are aware and are able to act upon it quickly. Without proper notification, developers may be absolved from responsibility if defects arise after a certain period of time has passed since taking possession of the property.

What Developers Are Obligated to Do

If you're buying a house in Malaysia, it's important to be aware of what your developer is obligated to do for you under Act 118.

First, they are obligated to rectify any defects in the home they have built for a certain period after completion, which is known as the Defect Liability Period (DLP). Also, they have a responsibility to tell you about any potential defects prior to the sale.

The obligations of developers also include taking necessary steps to prevent potential defects from occurring to begin with during construction. That includes proper inspections and maintenance of building components, so that any problems don't get worse over time. Additionally, developers are required to provide alternative dispute resolution when needed. Which could be either arbitration or mediation. This ensures that both parties can come together and try to resolve the issue without resorting to court action.


In Malaysia, housing rights are a valuable asset, and it is important to understand the key provisions of Act 118 in order to protect your rights. The Defect Liability Period (DLP) is one of the most important provisions and requires developers to rectify any defects in the homes they have built for a certain period of time after completion. 

It is essential to know your rights and obligations under the Act 118 and to take the necessary steps to ensure your rights are respected. If a dispute arises, it is important to seek out alternative dispute resolution options as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome for everyone involved.


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