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Council monitors Kepayan home renovation
Published on: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Council monitors Kepayan home renovation
The meeting between the two neighbours and the Council’s staff at the site, where the Kepayan home was being renovated, is seen above.
The District Council is keeping an eye on the renovations being made to a semi-detached house in Kepayan to ensure that the owner abides by its stipulations regarding this work.

The single storey premises, off Jalan Pahlawan, is being converted into a double-storey one. 

Construction work on the new floor has had a negative impact on a house next door, with damage to a fixture on the boundary, as well as cracks forming on a window frame and wall inside.

The way in which the new roof overhangs the one for the neighbouring unit has also become a source of contention as rainwater running down the former structure has been overflowing into the latter’s compound.

Rainwater flowing down the new roof (left) was spilling into the compound of the home next door.

The rate-payer, who lives beside the house which is being modified, related his displeasure about these turn of events to Hotline. His grievance was forwarded to the agency.

A Council spokesman said it was aware of the individual’s concerns as he had written to the agency in the last week of April about what had been transpiring in the housing area. 

“Senior officers from our Engineering Division met with him and his neighbour outside their respective premises last Thursday,” he said on May 14.

“Both parties were given a chance to have their say, afterwhich our personnel had a firsthand look at the extent of the building work which had been carried out so far.”

He said the owner of the home being renovated was asked to temporarily cease any “heavy duty” activities.

“By ‘heavy duty’ we mean any construction work involving forceful vibrations which could have a bearing on the houses in the vicinity.” 

So, work which “tidak ada getaran (did not generate tremors)” in the neighbouring structures, like brick-laying, was permitted, according to him.

However, he said, no drilling was allowed for the time being.

The force of the renovation work had damaged this window frame.

“The homeowner was also verbally instructed to provide us with a building plan and to have the construction activities taking place on his property insured.”

The spokesman said the individual would only be given the green-light to properly proceed with the renovation, once the Council was satisfied with both documents.

“The rate-payer agreed to our terms, during the site inspection, and assured us that he would talk to his architect about the plan which we had asked for.

On the insurance policy, he said, this would ensure that there was “some black and white for his neighbours” so that they could be compensated for any damage arising from the building work. 

As of May 14, the Council had received a copy of the policy but had yet to see the building plan, according to the spokesman.

Nevertheless, his neighbour had twice reported irregularities involving the construction activities taking place on the property: once on May 10 and again this Tuesday.

The spokesman said the homeowner, undertaking the renovation, had been queried about the former occurrence.

“We were made to understand that the construction workers hadn’t quite grasped what they could and couldn’t do and that they would briefed accordingly.

“Our personnel are still trying to get to the bottom of the most recent incident.”

He said the Council would consider notifying the individual, if it was found that he was not taking the verbal instructions from the agency’s staff seriously.

Further action could be taken, if he/ she fails to comply with this notice. 

“The individual risks being compounded up to RM 5,000 for contravening the Uniform Building Bylaws 2022.”

In the worst case scenario, he said, the agency could begin legal proceedings against the homeowner.

“If the matter is taken to court and he is found guilty, a fine for as much as RM100,000 could be imposed on him.

“Alternatively, the individual may also have to serve a jail-term of up to one year.

“In the worst-case scenario, both penalties could be enacted against the rate-payer by the magistrate.”

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