Whether you're building a wall, remodelling a tile, or extending a veranda, almost everyone has had a home renovation at some point. It may seem like a simple and straightforward task, but did you know that home renovation is also regulated by law?
Renovation is a term used to describe the process of opening walls, or extending a building. The renovation plan must be approved, otherwise, it will be banned. Failure to do so will result in a fine. You could cause the building to be demolished. Also, another reason for a renovation permit is for security reasons. It gives you and other occupants of the building the best chance to avoid something as simple as a fire, structural collapse or trapping a young boy between the verticals of a stairway. A renovation work permit is essential to comply with building codes.
How is a renovation illegal? There are two types.
First, you are building on someone else’s land.
Some of the land in your area may be owned by others. Rebuilding is illegal if you share a border with a neighbor and, for example, build a wall that extends to the neighbor's territory. The local council Majlis Perbandaran owns land outside your domain. This includes roads, sidewalks, and even land where trees can grow outside buildings. So, if you want to extend the veranda to the main road, you will have to build a building on the city council site, which is also illegal. To avoid this, you must obtain a renovation permit application confirming that you are only building or renovating your property.
Second, safety standards are not met.
Illegal repairs have the potential to injure or even kill everyone in the vicinity. That is why, in the renovation proposal submitted to Majlis, it is critical to include a detailed description of who is doing the renovation and what he intends to do. If a particular design is deemed unsafe, Majlis will deny permission.
What happens if you get caught remodeling without a permit?
Any illegal or unauthorized repairs will be dismantled or destroyed by Majlis Perbandaran. Building on someone else's property is not permissible, as previously stated. So, if a neighbor complains that a portion of a new wall has been built on their land, Majlis reserves the authority to order the wall to be destroyed if the neighbor's complaints are shown to be true. If Majlis performs the demolition work for you, they must first pay and then you will compensate them later.
How do you make your renovation legal?
Here is a general idea to apply for a renovation permit.
Before beginning any division or renovation work, you should make an appointment with your local building inspector to discuss the requirements of the approved plan. You will then need to hire a licensed architect to draft your renovation project. A list of registered architects is available at your local council's building information desk. Finally, you can apply for a building renovation plan approval by submitting the renovation plan to the local council along with any other necessary documents.
To get a renovation building plan approved, you'll need the following documents as part of the home renovation permit requirements:
Design for renovation.
A cover letter from a licensed architect or engineer is required.
A copy of the sales contract
A copy of the job suitability certificate.
Owner information including name, NRIC, address, phone number, NRIC and signature.
Approval of the technical department for the building plan.
Copies of temporary titles.
Processing fees under the 1984 Uniform Building Ordinance (UUKBS).
Copy of the last receipt for payment of donation.
Five (5) copies of the house or building design arranged and approved by the home/building owner(s), certified architect/engineer, or registered draftsman (4 on paper, 1 on canvas).
Do I need a permit for the renovation?
Yes and no. Here are the renovations that require a permit and those that do not.
Renovation works that require a permit are
Existing gates and/or border walls that were modified.
Additional covers, such as an awning or a membranous structure, which requires the installation of poles and cables
Installation or replacement of wall and/or floor fixtures covering more than 6.5 square metres
Plaster ceilings can be installed or replaced.
Any type of fittings modification that results in a change in the property's exterior.
Construction of a water catchment system with a maximum depth of 0.5 metres
Renovation works that do not require a permit are
Installation or replacement of air conditioning equipment
Canopy installation (following guidelines set by local municipality)
Water tank replacement (retaining tank original size)
Wall fittings such as windows and doors are being installed or replaced.
Landscaping or decorative electrical work, video surveillance systems, and automatic gates are all examples of electrical work.
Rainwater downpipes installed or repaired.
Countertops and/or built-in wardrobes.
Renovation without a permit is a costly mistake. If you have a landed property and don't have a permit to renovate, local authorities can come and take it all down, as local governments have the legal power to demolish or remove repairs that require a permit but do not have a permit. If so, they will do the service and charge you. This means you will have to pay not only for repairs that cannot be serviced but also for the work of dismantling them!
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