By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The set of guidelines that the government is going to introduce in May to regulate the sale of incomplete real estate will request that developers have draft building plans approved by the public works department prior to the launch of the advance sale.
Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ) director Cheong Weng Chon told reporters on the sidelines of a symposium yesterday that the guidelines are expected to be issued to related industry practitioners in May.
Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io announced last week that before the legal system for the sale of unfinished property can be put in place, corresponding guidelines will be rolled out for the industries to follow voluntarily.
A sample sale contract of incomplete real estate will be drafted for developers to use.
The contracts need to clearly state the details of public facilities (such as clubhouses, if any), unit layouts, construction and usable areas, payment schemes, delivery date of the property as well as responsibilities and penalties if the contract is breached.
The guidelines will also ask developers to at least have the draft building plans approved by the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) before the incomplete units are put up for sale.
On the other hand, the two-month public consultation for the legal system to regulate incomplete property transactions ended on April 25 and Cheong said that many opinions from different stakeholders and the general public have been received.
“Overall they agree with the proposal and recognise the necessity of this law,” he said.
The DSAJ and the DSSOPT will review the opinions and announce a report to the public between the end of May and early June, he added.
The DSAJ head also said a draft law will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly for deliberation around the fourth quarter of the year.
Since it’s now proposed that property registration of unfinished property transactions will become mandatory, Cheong disclosed that some comments collected have raised questions about how the registration should be handled in case the buyer forfeits the down payment and the sale does not proceed.
“It’s an important issue and so when we’re drafting the bill we will take into consideration this circumstance and try to come up with a way that can protect buyers and seller’s rights and interests but can still be able to void the registration without needing to go to court,” he said.
“The draft law will also give a clear definition of what unfinished real estate means,” he added.
The Macau Construction Association (MCA) and MdME Lawyers organised the Macau Construction Industry Continuous Development and Legal Challenges in Public Works seminar at the Science Centre.
Mak Soi Kun, a lawmaker and president of MCA, said in his speech that the government needs to increase efforts to promote laws especially in the construction industry, where ‘disputes are usually solved by private negotiations according to the common practices in the industry’.
He pointed out that with the increase in foreign investment in Macau, it is particularly important for local contractors to work in line with the contracts, since ‘foreigners tend to solve disputes based on the contracts rather than industry practices or through negotiations’.