Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Episode 1 : The Hassles Around Renovating Your Landed Property

Earlier I posted that, with the KL MRT and extension of the LRT projects, there are a lot of potentials suddenly in landed properties in the vicinities of the stations. One such location is USJ and I chose USJ13 because of the affordability, distance to the Taipan commercial center and obviously the mega potential of the place. 

Typically in USJ and Subang Jaya, there are 3 sizes of link or terrace houses, the most common being 22ft x 75ft. These are valued at around RM600k upwards now. Then there are the 24 x 80 larger units but I can't find any significant difference between this size and the 22 x 75. However, the 22 x 75 is a heaven and earth difference if compared against the 20ft x 60ft.... You'll also find smaller ones such as the 18ft wide homes but avoid these no matter how cheap they are.

It is most common practice in Malaysia, I think, before we move into any landed houses, especially these link or terrace houses to renovate them. And normally, people tend to extend and make the houses larger. The local council actually have guidelines for such renovations and people don't tend to follow them so it is also quite common to find houses here without a valid CF (Certificate of Fitness or now know as CCC). 

So this is where you'll find this significant difference between the 22 x 75 and the 20 x 60 houses. 

The thing about developers in Malaysia, especially those housing projects in the 80s and 90s, they expect you to renovate as soon as you take possession of your homes. So, I believe there is this sinister plot by developers to design the worst layout and also provide the lousiest material especially in the kitchen, bathrooms and backyards - because these are where home owners usually renovate. The local council by-law allows extension all the way to the back border of the land. This is provided that there is a back lane with width no less than 10 feet. However, there must be at least 5 feet from the wall of the upper floor to the border. Therefore, the 20 x 60 houses which normally only have 5 feet of land at the backyard, one can only extend the ground floor.

As for the front yard, no significant change to the facade of the house is allowed. But taking a drive around most residential areas reveal many home owners do not heed this requirement. If there is an extension to the front part of the house, there must be at least 20 feet from the wall of the facade to the gate of the house.

Hence, there isn't much you can do to a 20x60 house, unlike the 22x75 where you can normally extend the backyard by 10feet and the front by a further 5-6 feet. These extensions add significantly to the size of a 22x75 house.

In the next Episode, I'll talk about the process and procedures around getting approval for the renovations.

1 comment:

Shaunkwong said...

We have requesst form landed properties owners to install an external lift. While the local authority may impose a 20 ft distance to the boundary, this is usually a requirement rather than a standard. Asking for a revision is usually met with understanding. A 10 ft requirement is the minimum expected. Shaun Kwong, Malaysia Home Elevator