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Landlords Renting “Grave-Like Rooms” Given Stern Warning By KPKT

Landlords Renting “Grave-Like Rooms” Given Stern Warning By KPKT

Some of these rooms are narrow, small, and do not have proper ventilation, said the Local Government Development Minister.

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The Ministry of Local Government Development (KPKT) said stern action will be taken against homeowners and premises that rent out rooms in bad conditions.

According to its minister, Nga Kor Ming, the ministry will monitor those involved in the matter by collaborating with local councils and other organisations.

“Some of these rented rooms are narrow and small. There is no proper ventilation and windows which might lead to health and fire risks. For now, we are giving these premises owners a stern warning before taking action,” he said after attending the groundbreaking ceremony at the temporary market site in Pasir Pinji, Ipoh on 15 October.

He also added that in addition to penalties and demolition of structures, other action might be taken against negligent property owners, as reported by The Star.

“There are relevant acts that we can use for example the Street, Drainage, and Building Act 1974 (Act 133) Section 79, where local authority or agencies may remove any partitions, compartments, ceilings, and other structures. The owner shall pay the local authority the cost of expenses of demolishing the structure and more,” he said.

“Under the same section, any party can be fined not more than RM500 if convicted and shall also be liable to a further fine not exceeding RM100 every day during which the offence is continued after conviction,” he added.

Sinar Harian in an exclusive report last week highlighted the lengths some landlords would go to in order to increase the number of occupants.

This includes renovating shophouses to fit tiny, capsule-shaped rooms.

Many have had to endure renting small rooms as they can’t afford the expensive rates in big cities.

Suraaj Ravi spoke to TRP on his experience of living in such a room.

The 26-year-old man from Alor Setar who is currently working in Kuala Lumpur as a Digital Head in a consulting company had an awful experience when he rented a room in the middle of Bangsar two years ago.

The room he rented cost him RM700 a month, however, it was listed for RM500 on an online platform.

“After checking out the place, it was hiked up to RM600 for an attached bathroom and also another RM100 for my bike parking. The thing is that the listing platform had none of these mentioned. Anyway, being desperate for a place to stay, I agreed and continued for 7 months as it was just after the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Although the room cost RM700, it was not worth the price. There was little ventilation, little room to move about, and not even enough room for another person to sit comfortably.

He also shared how the room had flooded once after heavy rain.

“Once when it rained heavily and continuously for two days on my fifth month there, the whole basement got flooded because the drainage system was not cleaned nor maintained.”

That is when Suraaj decided to move and after another two months of living in what he described as “hell”, he finally found a better room that he is currently staying in.

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