Check your empty units, everyone!

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These days, things happen very fast. A rental advertisement could be posted within a few minutes and deposit for the unit could be collected within the next 1 hour. One easy scam which has happened and reported? Someone advertising a rental rate which is way below the market. Some people called the ‘owner’ and believe they are getting a great deal, quickly pays to get the deal only to learn later that the ‘owner’ was actually just someone who rented that unit via AirBnB for a few days… Well, apart from these, there’s another way people would profit from an empty property unit.

I think this is applicable to those who has empty units lying around. Just be aware that these empty units may be rented out without our knowledge. The reason? We were lazy to keep checking the units. We may have felt that the rental is too low versus the mortgage and thus not worth renting it out but others may not think the same. They have no mortgages to pay and whatever ‘rental’ money they get will be all the money they get. One such case was highlighted in TheStar.com.my A businessman’s shop apartment was rented out to 14 people without his knowledge! He had not checked the unit for a few months. He said, “The locks I used earlier were changed. There were 14 people, comprising 12 Bangladeshi men, a Malaysian man and an Indonesian woman living in my unit. He was giving his side of the story to a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Comp­laints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong. In 2018, 18 such cases were reported to Chong’s office. He said, “There could be syndicates that look for unoccupied units. They will cut the locks and rent these units to foreign or illegal workers.” Please refer to the full article in TheStar.com.my here.

In some countries, homes which are left empty are taxed. In Malaysia, there was a rumour that vacancy tax could be introduced. Let’s understand that no fire has ever started without smoke yeah. The vacancy tax has NOT happened for Budget 2019 does not mean that it will never happen in the future. Here’s that earlier article about the vacancy tax rumour. Personally, I think this tax is good because sometimes when too many wealthy individuals own too many units and just leave it empty while waiting for prices to rise, this is not going to be beneficial to those who really need a home. Of course, the vacancy tax MUST be used to help these people own a home and not for any other purpose yeah. Happy following.

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written on 19 Jan 2019

Next suggested article: New taxes a worry or lack of direction is scarier?

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