How long can your neighbour renovate his home?

If you are staying in Kuala Lumpur and your new neighbour just started his renovation, how long do you think you will have to endure the drilling and hacking and even the never ending dust layers inside your house daily? 1 month? 3 months? 6 months? Legally for now, there’s actually no limit. In other words, your neighbour could continue renovating everytime he has more money to spend and this can go on forever and ever.

Oh dear. This is bad, right? So, what is Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) doing about it? Nothing? Not really, they are trying to do something about it for the benefit of everyone here in Kuala Lumpur. Let’s read and understand.

Article in Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said the Uniform Building By-law 1984 has to be reviewed to ensure house owners in Kuala Lumpur complete renovating their homes by a given time. The mayor said that there is currently no time limit on the person to complete renovation works in Kuala Lumpur or in other authorities. Actions if needed could be taken against offenders under the Local Government Act.

Planning law expert Derek Fernandez said that the mayor has powers under the provision of law to come up with new guidelines on time frame and validity period. He said, “The mayor has the sole power under the provisions of the law for DBKL to fix a validity key period for any building plan approval.” He said that those affected could sue the local authority to compel it to take action. Please read the comprehensive Article in

From this it does seem that the mayor has some powers to decide on the renovation period by using the building plan approval? Well, as Spiderman once said, ‘With great powers come great responsibility.” The mayor may be the key to all of us living harmoniously instead of suffering in silence from some inconsiderate neighbours. Fortunately for most of us, our neighbours are good people, right?

Oh yeah, even if we hate our neighbour, cutting a tree from their compound which has become a nuisance to us may still be illegal yeah. Read here. In the mean time, if WE are the ones renovating, the least we could do is to ask the contractor for a completion deadline, tell our neighbour nicely and occasionally buy them some oranges. Building bridges will be necessary since once we moved in, our neighbours will become our ‘close’ friend too, literally.

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One response to “How long can your neighbour renovate his home?”

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