What Is APDL And Why Is It So Important?

The APDL is a developer license in Malaysia, and it ensures that they’re complying with rules around fair and legal practice. Time to find out why, and how, this piece of paper affects you as the homebuyer!
APDL Malaysia, APDL meaning, apdl, Developer license Malaysia, Property developer, Property developers, Property development companies, Real estate developers, Property development process

If you’ve ever bought a property that was still under construction, you might have heard of the APDL. If you haven’t, well you should be happy to know that it exists.

The Advertising Permit and Developer’s License (APDL) is an important part of keeping the property ecosystem fair and regulated. We have licenses to drive cars, right? Well this is a license to 'drive' property sales.

Bad comparison? Maybe. Want to find out more about this document that has an impact on homebuyers? Sure you do. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know!

 

What Is This APDL Business?

The APDL is an approval that's given by the local housing ministry to grant permission to advertise and sell property.

That means it’s a legal requirement for developers, if they want to complete the sale of any and all units in a project.

The APDL is both a sales permit and housing development license, as prescribed in the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 (Act 118). That makes it an important part of the property development process.

APDL Malaysia, APDL meaning, apdl, Developer license Malaysia, Property developer, Property developers, Property development companies, Real estate developers, Property development process

 

Why Is The APDL So Important?

The APDL offers oversight for regulators, and protection for consumers. Property is a big-money industry, and one that’s important to both the economy, and the lives of individual citizens.

With the APDL process, the authorities and Government can track and monitor property developers, ensuring they’re complying with rules around fair and legal practice.

It also allows the Government to track things like property prices, which is extremely important to ensure affordable housing is continuously available for the rakyat.

From a consumer perspective, the oversight and monitoring of APDL means they’re protected from dodgy developers selling shady properties, providing a barrier against fraud and misleading information (think: false marketing) in the real estate industry.

Since all registered real estate developers require an APDL to sell units, it also means that in the event something does go wrong with a legitimate sale, a customer has all the necessary details of the developer.

And when things go from bad to worse, say the developer suddenly abandons the project halfway through, they can hold them to account in a court of law if needed.

APDL Malaysia, APDL meaning, apdl, Developer license Malaysia, Property developer, Property developers, Property development companies, Real estate developers, Property development process

 

Advertising Standards Under The APDL

So what’s allowed, and what isn’t, under the APDL rules? There are some clear standards that must be followed, with the regulation stipulating that certain key pieces of information must be included on the advertising:

  • Validity period
  • Project name
  • Land tenure
  • Projected completion date
  • Minimum and maximum price
  • Building plan number
7 Property Advertising Tips For Property Agents in Malaysia

Relevant Guide

7 Property Advertising Tips For Property Agents in Malaysia

There are also some things that property development companies can’t promise on an advert, under the rules of the APDL. A recent amendment introduced in July 2015 states that advertisements must not include:

  • Offer of free legal fees
  • Projected monetary return gains and rental income
  • Claim of panoramic views
  • Travelling time from to popular destinations
  • Any particular to which a housing developer cannot genuinely lay a proper claim

This property development license in Malaysia really is good news for customers! You don’t want to buy a high-rise property that promises the most breathtaking panoramic views, if the view is blocked by a newly built building next year, right?

APDL Malaysia, APDL meaning, apdl, Developer license Malaysia, Property developer, Property developers, Property development companies, Real estate developers, Property development process

 

How Do Developers Gain An APDL?

The Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 sets out the application process for an APDL as such:

(2) An applicant for an advertisement and sale permit shall submit his application in the form as may be determined by the Controller from time to time and shall supply the following:
(a) a copy of the approved building plans;
(b) two copies of the proposed advertisement including the brochures containing particulars as prescribed under paragraph (1) of regulation 6 of these Regulations;
(ba) particulars containing selling price of every unit of housing accommodation in every housing development;
(c) such other relevant particulars or information as may be required by the Controller.

Basically you submit an application form with a copy of approved plans, alongside a couple of copies of your advert, to the Controller. The term 'controller', in this case, means the relevant local housing authority.

Developers pay RM50 for application for an APDL, then RM500 per year for the license. If the developer wishes to publish a new advert which differs from the original approved advert… you got it – they’ve got to apply again!

APDL Malaysia, APDL meaning, apdl, Developer license Malaysia, Property developer, Property developers, Property development companies, Real estate developers, Property development process

 

So What Are The Stages Of The Development Process?

APDL is obviously only one part of the development process, albeit one that is particularly important, when it comes to consumer protection and development sales alike.

Let’s take a quick look at the three main stages of the property development process to ‘build up’ that understanding!

Planning and Approval

Planning and approval is the first step to any development.

  • Evaluation of site and market opportunity
  • Design and costing of proposed development
  • Local consultation (if required)
  • Apply for planning permission (KM) from local authority

Construction Permit

Once approval is granted, developers must seek construction and sales permits.

  • Building permit received for detailed building plans
  • APDL received for advertising and sales

Construction and Completion

With approvals and permissions granted, construction will progress.

  • Construction starts on building structure
  • Walls, doors, roofing, wiring constructed
  • Sewerage works undertaken
  • Internal and external plastering/fittings
  • Drains and utilities connected
  • Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) issued once complete

Want to understand how construction matches payment? Here’s all you need to know with Progressive Payment Schedule For Property Under Construction In Malaysia.

 

Avoid Blacklisted Developers At All Costs!

APDL Malaysia, APDL meaning, apdl, Developer license Malaysia, Property developer, Property developers, Property development companies, Real estate developers, Property development process

Okay, you should probably realise by now that no APDL = no deal. It really is as simple and straightforward as that, don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

If you see adverts from developers without reference to their APDL, or even a developer trying to sell property without being able to demonstrate an APDL, then alarm bells should be ringing.

Luckily there’s a good way to check if the developer is a bad egg by exploring our guide on blacklisted developers, and how to avoid dodgy deals. 

The Malaysian Ministry of Housing and Local Government compiles a regular list of blacklisted developers for you to reference to, so you know who's legit and who isn't.

Of course, thanks to the APDL, it’s even easier for officials to track, monitor, and manage developers to ensure everyone gets a fair deal.

That’s great stuff for legitimate developers, but even better for customers who are out to find an awesome property to call their own!

 

Want to find out about the best new developments on the market today? PropertyGuru has got you covered with our comprehensive list of new property launches and developments.

Read Next

Feedback