For Landlords

Tested at Tribunal: How We Prevented a Court Case

One of many adult fears is going to court. But pending the Residential Tenancy Act to fully define both tenant and landlord rights, most rental disputes float in a legal grey area. These problems are hard to resolve in the court of law. But there are tribunals dedicated to hearing the claims of consumers and homebuyers.

SPEEDHOME resolves any tenant-landlord disputes in-house to ensure an outcome in the best interest of everyone involved. But what if someone skips that step?

Instead of coming to an agreement amongst themselves, they go straight to a tribunal. And depending on the case, that might spell trouble for the landlord. Could we still step in to help?

Tenant Filed a Claim to the Tribunal

For context– one of our past tenants filed a complaint to a tribunal about a unit long after they’ve moved out. Why? They’re claiming two months worth of rent (about RM2400) due to unsatisfactory living conditions that the landlord did not fix.

Thing is, for the tenant’s entire stay, we were never approached about a problem. So pieces of the puzzle are missing before we can try to resolve this issue.

Because of how the tribunal works and the tenancy agreement binding SPEEDHOME, our company was included in the court hearing notice to provide evidence. So we held an internal investigation.

But first things first…

What is a Tribunal?


A tribunal is a specialised judicial body or administrative panel that is established to resolve specific types of disputes or issues. It operates outside the regular court system and is designed to provide an accessible and efficient alternative for dispute resolution. 

Tribunals typically have jurisdiction over specific areas of law or specific types of cases. They are made up of independent adjudicators or experts with knowledge in the relevant field. The decisions made by a tribunal are legally binding, to provide fair and impartial resolutions.

There are three separate tribunals that tenants can approach for their disputes: 

  1. Tribunal for Consumer Claims
  2. Strata Management Tribunal 
  3. Homebuyer’s Tribunal

Jurisdictions of Every Tribunal

TribunalJurisdiction and Claims
Tribunal for Consumer Claims
(Tribunal Tuntutan Pengguna)
Handles claim redress in respect of any goods and services purchased to protect consumers, covering:
(i) a claim for redress for the purchase of goods or services permitted under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal as provided under Act 599;
(ii) a claim where the total amount does not exceed RM50,000.00; and
(iii) a claim which accrues within three years of the claim.
Strata Management Tribunal
(Tribunal Perumahan dan Pengurusan Strata)
Handles disputes arising from strata management in stratified buildings in Malaysia including:
(i) Disputes over failure to perform a function, duty or power imposed by SMA 2013;
(ii) Dispute on costs or repair in respect of defects;
(iii) A claim for an order to revoke the amendment of by-laws having regard to the interests of all the parcel owners;
(iv) A claim for an order to pursue an insurance claim;
(v) among others.
Tribunal for Homebuyer Claims
(Tribunal Tuntutan Pembeli Rumah)
Handles claims made by house purchasers against property developers on the following matters:
(i) Defective workmanship;
(ii) Defective materials;
(iii) Property not constructed in accordance with the approved plans stated in the SPA;
(iv) Late delivery of vacant possession of the property;(v) Late delivery of common facilities;
(vi) Refund of deposit; and
(vii) Refund of late interest charges

This way, tenants and homebuyers are able to seek legal support for their cases while being relatively cost-effective. But many issues should be resolved between the parties before it goes to the tribunal.

Investigating and Negotiating Our Case

Upon receiving the hearing notice, the tenant clarified that the complaint was intended for the landlord, and had no interest involving SPEEDHOME in the tribunal case.

Here’s what the paper trail really said–

The tenant requested for an early termination and agreed to pay the two months penalty after failing to notify the landlord beforehand. The key was surrendered and the tenant was assumed to default due to an outstanding payment. Later, the tenant said they spoke to the landlord about the broken air conditioner. This was the reason for the early termination and payment complications.

This complaint only came in after the early termination request. The house condition team finished looking at the unit, so the complaint couldn’t be settled. Landlord’s side of the story? They explained that they did try to service the air conditioner.  It’s just that all the arranged visits were at times when the tenant wasn’t home, against the tenant’s wishes. 

This would prolong the problem until the tenant called it quits.

In other words: Miscommunication.

How did we resolve the problem?

The goal here was to come to an agreement that everyone was happy with so no one would have to be present at the hearing.

The tenant expected SPEEDHOME to protect them, but we can’t do that if we weren’t made aware of the problem during the time of the conflict. Given the situation that SPEEDHOME is stepping in to provide a solution now, the tenant was very understanding and agreed to lower the settlement to RM1200. The landlord was then contacted and cooperated to pay the settlement.

The tribunal is cancelled.

Why You Should Avoid A Court Case

Preventing a Court Case

Tensions and emotions run high with cases like these, especially in a financially driven relationship like that of a tenant or landlord. Resolving disputes through a mediating third party will avoid the problem from escalating.

Maintaining relationships: The atmosphere of a hearing can make people act irrationally and increase animosity. Mediation tries to provide a more cooperative and collaborative environment, enabling parties to have open dialogues and explore mutually beneficial solutions. By preserving relationships, individuals can avoid the long-lasting negative consequences that can arise

Time-saving and accountability: If all the necessary documentation was already in one place, all the proceedings can go more smoothly than if the two parties are required to communicate amongst themselves. Negotiation sessions can be more effectively scheduled, allowing tenant and landlord to work towards a resolution at a quicker pace.

Making your own decisions: Alternative dispute resolution methods empower individuals by giving them more control of the resolution process. Instead of a decision made by others, the parties actively participate in finding a resolution that meets their specific needs and interests. By taking part in the decision-making process, individuals can feel a sense of ownership and satisfaction with the outcome.

How We Can Help You

If you are a tenant or landlord under SPEEDHOME, be aware that we have policies in place to help settle disputes and investigate breaches in your tenancy agreements. We can only protect you if you approach the team with any issues you experience. 

Open communication is especially important in cases like this to make sure everyone follows their responsibilities and fulfils their obligations.

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