The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) is supporting the government’s initiative to enact the Residential Tenancy Act, saying it will provide a win-win formula for both the tenants and the landlords.
“In this respect, we in the MIEA, representing the 25,000 Real Estate Practitioners make this clarion call to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to address the issue of racial discrimination in the renting of premises,” said MIEA President Lim Boon Ping.
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) is currently drafting the Residential Tenancy Act, which is set to be tabled in early next year, reported by The Malaysian Reserve.
With the absence of the Residential Tenancy Act in Malaysia, the legal rights of landlord and tenant are left to the tenancy agreement. So, Look Out For These Terms And Conditions In A Tenancy Agreement!
Among the provisions in the Act is a mechanism to address disputes between tenants and landlords. At present, tenants and landlords rely on several provisions of the National Land Code 1965.
Lim noted that while they respect the argument that an owner has the right to decide who they want for a tenant; such right should not go against justice when certain races are precluded from renting.
“It is important to state that race has nothing to do with the capability of a person to service their rental obligations. We should be more concerned whether the individual, no matter what race, is capable of being a good tenant,” he said as quoted by The Malaysian Reserve.
In the US, for instance, they have an “equal opportunity” law in which a person cannot be denied to rent or sell a property based on their race, stated Lim.
Although it is the duty of agents to serve their client – the landlord, they also have a duty of care towards the tenants.
“As such, agents are taught and trained to reject any instruction by a client who looks for tenants based on racial preference,” he explained.
“On the other hand, we are concerned that such ethical practice does not exist on online platforms who are acting as intermediaries and thus circumventing the protections afforded under Act 242 (Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981),” added Lim.