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Know Your Rights As A Strata Building Purchaser

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Condominiums / Serviced Apartments is not a fresh property in our country anymore. Getting a landed property in Klang Valley is almost a tough task for most of the fresh graduates. Thus, purchasing a condominium is an alternative and affordable way to build a very own’s nest. It is crucial to know your rights as a purchaser for strata title’s property.

I am not going to discuss on the purchasing process but rather to focus on the formation of Joint Management Body after the Developer has delivered the vacant possession to the purchasers (means after you “received the key”) in view I came across this interesting issue recently.

First and foremost I thank god for granting me some fortunes on purchasing the property that located nearby Klang Valley (because the project was under 10% discount). Following that you would need to know who will manage the property and what is their responsibility.

Section 4 & 5 Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007 (Act 663) and Order stating:-

S4(1)(b): “Where a building or land intended for subdivision into parcels has been completed,  on or after the commencement of this Act, a Joint Management Body shall be established consisting of the developer and the purchasers upon the convening of the first meeting not later than twelve months from the date of delivery vacant possession of the parcels to the purchasers”.

Thus, S4(1)(b) means the JMB need to be formed within 1 year after the purchasers received the key from developer.

S5(5): “Any developer who fails to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both”.

Thus, S5(5) means if developer fails to call for the first meeting within the said 1 year, it is a criminal offence if they found guilty. (Don’t play play)

After several provisions being quoted, the main Question is why I need to know this and why I must request the developer to call for the 1st JMB meeting?

The answer is same with your personal tax being “surrendered” to the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (yeah I know the tax is never being given willingly). In short, the purchasers form the JMB, the JMB will take over the developer’s duty to maintain the common property and the maintenance fee + sinking fund account. You manage back your own money!

If any developer tries to provide numerous reasons to defer the meeting, stay calm, gather other purchasers and hand in a letter by quoting the aforementioned provisions politely. (tell them don’t play play need to go to jail)

It is common scenario that the maintenance fee and sinking fund account being misused or fraud could be happened (well in this case I am not saying my developer). Thus it is vital to take back the authority from the developer and monitor your property’s account with commitment promised and transparency provided. It is a collective duty for all the purchasers to maintain the property.

As far as I concerns, my developer is trying to defer the 1st JMB meeting by seeking our consent. You may confuse until this stage. Let me clarify further.

My condominium is divided into three phases (obviously is Phase 1, 2 & 3). The developer delivered the vacant possession to Phase 1 purchasers last year, and to Phase 2 purchasers this year. According to the Act, they need to call for the meeting this year. However, the developer requested to wait for the Phase 2 purchasers to join in.

Chaos occurred. Should you agree to the deferment? The best option would be seeking the opinions from other purchasers and reach to a decision collectively. Remember by lodging a complaint to the Commissioner of Building (COB) may lead unwanted problematic scenarios to the developer. They are responsible and being questionable by the COB. We must take note that there are no provisions in the Act for the COB to allow the requisition of developer to defer the meeting. Further, the discretion of the COB to do so is not stated clearly.

To conclude, if you discover there is some potential fraud or misusing of management fee account by the developer (normally they will appoint a managing agent), do not hesitate to gather the voices and powers from other purchasers and defend your rights (as well as your money)!

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