Ask Me Anything: Who is responsible for IWK bills, wiring and piping issues in a rented property?


This week, Low & Partners managing partner Datuk Andy Low Hann Yong deals with readers’ questions regarding critical issues revolving around IWK bills, wiring and piping issues in a rented property.

Q1: If a tenant complains regarding issues such as wiring and piping which are clearly stated in the tenancy agreement to be the responsibility of the owner but the owner ignores, what is the recourse for the tenant?

A1: The tenant can terminate this tenancy or carry out the repair and reimburse from the landlord if it is provided in the tenancy agreement.

Q2: Who would be liable for the IWK bill if the unit is rented out since Day 1 and the owner does not pay for it throughout the duration of the tenancy?

A2: Subject to the tenancy agreement between the landlord and the tenant, if the agreement is drafted such that the tenant has to be liable for the IWK bill, then the tenant shall be liable for it throughout the duration of the tenancy. The usual norm is for this responsibility to fall into the hands of the tenants as they are the occupiers of the property. Nevertheless at the end of the day, the freedom to contract stands.

Compiled by Tharmini Kenas of |


The magic is still present – Why KLCC will continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape


Designed to be a “city within a city”, Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC) is a 100-acre site that hosts the tallest twin towers in the world, a shopping mall, office buildings and several hotels. It is also home to a public park and mosque which is open to the public.

The site, which is much larger in size in contrast to the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) is a brilliant example of developing a master plan for a modern central business district.

It has acted as the catalyst for the surrounding land with excellent office architecture, five-star hotels and apartment buildings mushrooming since.

Anchoring KLCC is the Petronas Twin Towers. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat official definition and ranking, the Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remains the tallest twin towers in the world.

They define Kuala Lumpur’s skyline along with the nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower which has attracted tourists from around the globe.

Argentine architect Cesar Pelli designed the towers using a distinctive postmodern style which reflects a 21st-century icon for Kuala Lumpur. The construction of the superstructure commenced on April 1, 1994. On New Year’s of 1996 interiors with furniture were fitted into the building, while the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 were completed on Mar 1, 1996.

The first batch of Petronas personnel moved into the building on Jan 1, 1997. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad on Aug 31, 1999.

Adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers is Suria KLCC which opened their doors in May 1998. It is a shopping centre that comprises of a six-storey building at the foot of the Petronas Twin Towers.

Created in 1999, it was soon the talk of the town because it introduced a new level of style to the city with its vast array of haute couture stores.

Likened to Manhattan’s Barney’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, the mall is famous not only for its strategic location and upscale stores but also because of its tourist attractions such as Aquaria KLCC, Petrosains; a science discovery centre and Aquaria, an oceanarium targeted at kids located beneath the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Besides that, the mall is also home to the Dewan Filharmonik Orkestra (Malaysia’s first concert hall) and the Petronas Art Gallery.

With its light rail transit (LRT) station set adjacent to the KLCC Park and the KL Convention Centre, the mall is easily accessible to the public.

Despite its modern design, Suria KLCC features little touches reminiscent of classic European malls, including plenty of greenery, white geometric-patterned marble floors with exposed glass panels that let in natural light.

What makes KLCC becoming an attraction is the fact that it has the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre as part of its planning. It is Asia’s only AIPC (International Association of Congress Centres) Gold Standard venue.

Since opening in June 2005 through to Mar 31, 2017, the Centre has hosted over 12,276 events, bringing into Kuala Lumpur over 20.9 million delegates and visitors.

The Twin towers have become a magnet for some brilliant new architectural wonders that have sprung up around the KLCC site.

The new Prestigious Four Seasons Private Residences built next to the Twin Towers is a landmark in its own right and underlines how developers and occupiers view the importance of this iconic KLCC landmark.

Also, another development around the KLCC site; the Platinum Park has provided KLCC with some impressive architectural marvels, not to mention Norman Fosters Troika residences- his firm’s first foray into Malaysia.

KLCC brings together a fantastic concentration of the best hotels, restaurants, a prime convention centre, entertainment venues and shopping experiences with two of Malaysia top shopping destinations – Suria KLCC and the Pavilion in its footprint.

What makes this even more remarkable is that all the buildings are appropriately maintained and updated. It debunks the myth that Malaysia is good at building expensive projects and not managing them. The Twin Towers look as good now as they did 25 years ago.

However, KLCC’s iconic status was under threat recently with the sprouting of other projects such as KL118, TRX Signature Tower, Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) Signature Tower and Bandar Malaysia in Klang Valley.

It is going to change when the proposed development at Lot L, M, N (Lot 164, 165 and 166) is finalised as KLCC Property Sdn Bhd is planning to build the tallest tower in Malaysia at 145-storeys (taller than KL118) with a six-storey retail podium and access to an MRT station.

Despite all the hype surrounding these new developments, KLCC has a competitive advantage over the rest because much of it existed before the land prices started to skyrocket in KL.

Its high occupancy levels in today’s challenging leasing market are a testimony to this.

Our Prime Minister then (who is also today the country’s newly elected Leader) had the vision to spearhead the building of this iconic development and its resounding and enduring success.

He has given the Malaysian people a skyline in their capital city to challenge any of the

great cities in the world.

About the Contributor

dato_stewart_labrooy-273x300Dato’ Stewart is an engineer by training and a member of the Institute of Engineers, Malaysia. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree in 1973 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Studies in 1974 from the University of Sheffield.

Dato’ Stewart is the Chief Executive Office of AXIS REIT, the first Shariah compliant industry REIT in the world and one of the first REITs to be listed on Bursa Malaysia. He is also the Chairman of the Malaysian REIT Managers Association and a Board Member of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association.

He has over 40 years of experience in manufacturing, operations management, property development and REIT management. He is a prominent speaker on the subject of real estate investment and has presented numerous papers at conferences globally.

Contributed by AREA Management Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Stewart Labrooy

7 Tips to organize an effective open house & increase the closing rate of the property

The literal meaning of an open house is “a place or situation in which all visitors are welcome”. It is a period when sellers or real estate agents open their property to potential purchasers so that they can swing by and have a look at the property without any appointments. An open house is an ideal method of concentrating an extensive number of showings into a constrained period.

7 Tips for an Effective Open house

1. Select an Appropriate time

It is important to choose an appropriate time during which most people can visit your open house. Among the best times to organise open house are weekends and off-peak hours.

Preferably, an hour or two in the early afternoon would be effective in attracting visitors to the open house. It would also do good to provide limited time access to the open house as it will gather heavy traffic and develop more interest among the potential buyers and passers-by.


Raphael is a Real Estate Coach, Trainer & Entrepreneur

2. Cleaning and Repairing

It is highly necessary to clean your property before staging it for an open house.
Renovations, refurbishments and repairs to make it visually and functionally appealing will increase the market value of any property.

Dirty windows, stained walls and peeling paints off the walls will draw the attention of people and result in a negative impression. It is crucial to make a good first impression to keep the potential buyers attracted to the property.

Hence, hiring a cleaner, painter and plumber to make the necessary changes to the property will go a long way into making it attractive.

3. Illuminate your House

What can be more lovely and homely that sunlight streaming into your house? Draw the curtains and let the natural light in. This will increase the appeal of the house during open house as well as create an open and airy look.

On the other hand, if the open house is held in the evening or at night, it is wise to turn on all the lights in the house. This will enable you to showcase every part of the house properly.
Keep in mind to not turn on any appliance that creates noise since it will leave a bad impression on the visitors. Remove all vehicles from the driveway and keep the driveway clear.

4. Soothing Environment

It is important to create an environment that will be soothing and well-loved by the visitors. When it comes to home, many people would want it to be calming, soothing and energising.

Place fragrant flowers in beautiful arrangements at various corners of the house. Play slow and calming music in the background. These will create a soothing environment while buyers roam around and make decisions regarding the property.


5. Put up Signboards

Putting up signs in the vicinity of your house for the open house is one of the creative ways to attract large traffic. Apart from a big attractive signboard in front of your house, you should also put up signs with the necessary details at busy corners around your house. Make sure the board is filled with attractive colours and words to draw the attention of the public and passers-by.

6. Serve Snacks

It is crucial to extend warm hospitality to the visitors to make them feel at home during the open house. So depending on your budget, serve some refreshments and snacks. Set the dining table with the snacks and encourage the visitors to enjoy them. This would leave them in a good mood and create a feel-good vibe about the house.

7. Invite Neighbours

Next, do not forget to invite your neighbours to the house before opening it to the public. Call them for a private lunch or a party. Apart from strengthening the bond with them, this move will develop curiosity among the other neighbours and might result in increased number of visitors during the open house.

All the steps above will result in a successful open house and give a glimpse of the house to the visitors. It will also pique the interests of many others in the house. Consequently, the closing rate of the property can be increased.

The above article is contributed by real estate practitioner Raphael Wong.
*Raphael is a Real Estate Coach, Trainer & Entrepreneur. He is recognized as the authority on how to make big money through real estate agent business. In less than 3 years, he has built a 7 figure business through his business. Over the years, Raphael has refined his 7 step system that has influenced well over thousands real estate professionals to increase their wealth. His system has been regarded as the most strategic and innovative approach to growing a real estate empire.

Factors that may affect the sale of your house

1 Undesirable surroundings

Property prices will be considerably lower if the house is located in a seedy neighbourhood with a bad reputation. Worse still if the house has weeds growing all over the lawn, rubbish is left uncollected, and the area has bad security ratings.

2 Lower prices of nearby houses

While sellers are free to set any asking price they want, property agents and valuers will often base the value of a house on the surrounding property prices. Buyers will do the same. If neighbouring houses fetch a lower price on average, the estimated worth of your house in the market will be affected.

3 Losing out from bad location

Connectivity, traffic, infrastructure and facilities in the area are important keys to unlocking the potential of your house as a potential good buy. For example, a house that is located too close to noise sources or far from a good educational institution will look less appealing to buyers.

4 Optimise the living spaces

While local buyers are slowly coming to terms with smaller living areas, space optimisation is still a big consideration. Bad space arrangement will turn away buyers while limited lighting will always be a minus.

 5 Bad structural integrity

If there’s a problem with the foundation of your house, having the best marble or stainless steel will not help you. Cautious buyers are weary of houses that need structural fixing because the cost is hard to measure.


The article was first published in Chinese in Property Trends e-mag.

Everything you need to know about hiring exclusive agents


Are you looking to hire an exclusive agent to sell off your property? Here are some things you should consider before committing to the cause. 

There is a difference between an exclusive agent and a sole agent; even though  both indicates that only one agent is entitled to sell off a property. Real estate agents themselves always get these two terms mixed up. If you appoint a sole agency to sell off your home, you will not have to pay any commission to the agent, should you make the sale yourself. However, under an exclusive appointment, the seller will have to pay up the professional fee when the property is sold, regardless of who closes the deal.

The job scope for an exclusive agent is basically the same as a general one – nevertheless, once exclusivity is given, the property agent will definitely prioritise the seller’s property by putting in more effort, resources and time to market said property as the sale is almost guaranteed under an exclusive appointment.

Things to consider before hiring

Before hiring an exclusive agent,  sellers are advised to do their due diligence – check the agent’s background and validity by browsing through the Valuation and Property Services Department (JPPH) website. Also, do not forget to make sure that the agency is registered with the BOVAEA and is currently active as well.

Sellers can also evaluate the property agent’s suitability by checking if he or she is familiar with the area and property type. It is recommended to employ an agent who is an area specialist – this means that the agent will have valuable experience and expertise in the subject of property and is knowledgeable with the market  condition for that specific area. A plus point for the potential agent will be if he/she could provide legitimate testimonials from previous customers – a solid track record is a winning factor as it provides sellers with the necessary confidence and trust.

The advantages

An exclusive appointment will definitely  motivate and encourage the property agent to act more proactively and aggressively, besides convincing the property agent that disposing the property is a serious matter for the seller.

Hence, in return, the agent is willing to carry out various type of marketing activities and initiatives to ensure that the property will be sold at an optimum price in the shortest period possible. Sellers can expect to see their requirements being fulfilled efficiently or maybe even beyond their expectations.

Written by Fan Yea Jea, Founder of The Property Expert.

Image courtesy of

More affordable homes around Klang Valley – The Fresco Apartment new buddy website!


Hey guys! Guess what. We are generating more and more visits thru The Fresco Apartment and it’s going great! But we do realise that most of the properties on display are of a higher value bracket. So, we thought, why not a place where there’s something for everyone and it is affordable, gorgeous and best of all, having us as your agents! We are proud to announce our buddy site The Frescoroom where we have rentals as low as RM2,000 and sales below the RM 1M mix.

We always believe that ‘Everyone deserves the best, even with a little less!’.

Hop on to the site and enjoy your stay. Let me know if you have comments or how we could improve the site better.

Advantages of an Exclusive Agreement with a real estate agent


“An exclusive listing agreement means that that brokerage, and the designated agent within that brokerage you choose to work with, is the only brokerage that can represent you in the sale of your home during the time frame listed in the agreement. What it means is that you do not have different brokerages and agents attempting to market and sell your home on your behalf.

You are working with one brokerage and one agent that represents, advocates, and markets for you. It does not, however, inherently limit where your house is listed on the internet, or how it is marketed within your community. That is chosen/decided/agreed upon by you and the designated agent you are working with.

This is why it’s so important to interview agents prior to listing and find out about their experience, their web presence, their reputation within the real estate community, their macro- and micro-market awareness, and their specific marketing plan for your property.

The bottom line is, an exclusive listing agreement does not inherently dictate how or where your home is marketed, only who represents you and by whom your property can be marketed. However, a non-exclusive listing agreement may block your home from being listed in certain real estate websites. As a seller, you want to know that you are being represented by one solid and reputable brokerage, and an agent that is best suited to market and sell your property.”  – Kevin Van Eck @Properties in Chicago, IL.

For properties owner:

When you come to the decision of selling your property, you can either list with multiple agencies or exclusively with one agency. If you decide to sell your property via an exclusive agent, you can only market and sell through the said agency as long as the timeframe of the exclusivity is effective. There are many benefits to list your property exclusively, some of these include:

  • You can be assured that the appointed agent will market aggressively with a personalized plan ensuring that your desired interests are kept in mind.
  • A closer and more through relationship will be extended between the agent and the client, which improves communication.
  • Greater potential for gaining higher quality leads.
  • Your property will be marked precisely to the market. This includes high-quality imagery; approved by the seller, correct market price and accurate property details.
  • When a property listing is exclusive, agencies will place more resources, effort, and money into pushing your property.
  • You will receive excellent marketing exposure, which may include:
    • Prominent positioning on the agency’s website
    • Featured listings on real estate portals
    • Quality photography
    • Detailed valuation on your property
    • Communication on market trends
    • Features in direct marketing campaigns (print & online)
    • Private events or open houses
    • Personalized property brochures
  • Your dedicated agent will respect your time and privacy in relation to communication and property viewings etc


For the buyers:

Buyers will likely agree to work exclusively with you if answer two implicit questions:

  • What are the benefits of working with one agent?
  • Why should I limit myself to just one agent?

Here are some answers:

  1. The exclusive agent can be objective about which properties to show because he or she will earn a commission no matter which one the buyers purchase. The agent, therefore, doesn’t have to sell any particular property and can concentrate on the buyers’ needs and wants.
  2. The exclusive agent will feel no pressure to quickly sell a property to the buyers before another agent does. This allows the agent to give priority to the buyers’ priorities and timelines.
  3. The agent will be clearly negotiating in the buyers’ best interests during the purchase and in the event, a problem should arise.
  4. Exclusive agents tend to watch for new listings more closely for buyers who are depending solely on them. When agents favor customers they can count on, those buyers find out about new listings sooner.
  5. Exclusive agents can justify investing more time in explaining the purchase process to buyers, and establish a close working relationship with them.
  6. When buyers call their exclusive agent about internet listings or for-sale signs they’ve seen, they will get all information they need from an agent who is not biased toward that particular listing.
  7. The buyer can be represented by their exclusive agent purchase if they purchase a for-sale-by-owner property, by stipulating in the purchase agreement that the seller will pay the buyer’s agency fee.
  8. Searching and choosing properties to see will be more efficient because the exclusive agent thoroughly understands the buyers’ needs and wants.
  9. The exclusive agent relationship is more comfortable for the buyers because they don’t worry about the agent being self-serving or pressuring them. The agent acts as more of a guide and advisor than as a salesperson.
  10. Being represented exclusively is a bargain for buyers when their agent’s commission on a listed property sale is paid by the seller.

The above illustrates some of the more obvious reasons why an exclusive appointment is beneficial to all parties, the owner, the agent and the buyer.

Let me know your thoughts if you’ve encountered anything similar from the above article.

Article sources from Kendal & Co and Jim Luger, CDEI of