Living as a community
13/10/2007 NST-Prop By National
House Buyers Association
A look at who should take up the
challenge of being part of the bodies looking after a stratified project
Whatever name you put it -
Management Corporation (MC), or Joint Management Body (JMB), or Residents'
Association (RA) - these are basically a community of property owners
looking out for their best interests.
The first two are required by law
for strata-titled property under the Strata Titles Act, 1985 and the new
Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act, 2007 (BCP).
RAs, however, are voluntary
organisations registered as a society.
The BCP Act allows a joint
management committee (JMC) to be formed from the start, meaning owners do
not have to wait for the first annual general meeting called by the
developer to have a say in how their investment should be managed and
Unfortunately, very often, only a
small percentage of strata-property owners take an interest in how their
properties are managed. There are also some who are interested, but who do
not have the skill or knowledge to sit in the decision-making council.
This leaves a handful of capable
volunteers burned out after years of rendering their services.
Under the BCP Act, the JMC
representing purchasers should have between five and 12 members, while under
the Strata Titles Act, the MC should consist of between 3 and 14 owners.
Though these are voluntary
positions they come with great responsibilities as they involve people and
Strong leadership is thus and
essential component of a successful owners' corporation.
A good leader can make a
difference. Selecting the right one can, in a very real way, lead to a more
productive and happy community.
In choosing one, it must be
remembered that "a manager does things the right way, while a leader does
the right thing".
On top of that, good leaders can
also motivate others to get the right things done as they have the skill,
knowledge, experience and ability to command.
The person who has the special
combination of insight and inspiration can be recognised by the following
characteristics and abilities:
Accept criticism: No one
in the position of power will escape criticism. Leaders have the ability
to discern when criticism is valid and when it is not.
Has an open mind: A
leader must be able to approach a problem creatively. A committee that is
afraid of change will stagnate.
He or she explains, persuades, praises and can express ideas clearly and
Is decisive: Taking a
stand involves making mistakes. A good leader takes a stand and if an
error is made, acknowledges it and corrects the situation.
Enthusiasm is contagious. With it, council members can be motivated to
keep volunteering; without it, voluntary work becomes a burden.
Displays leadership by
example: The leader arrives on time, never shirks responsibilities and
demonstrates good work habits. He or she instils cooperation among
volunteers, and works with them, not just issues orders to be followed up.
Listen to others: He
sources for and uses other members' ideas and gives credit when it is due.
Has problem solving skill:
He or she uses knowledge and experience to help get the job done.
Is sensitive: A
genuinely caring leader inspires confidence in others. Leaders delegate,
give and seek constructive feedback and know how and when to give praise
or point out what is wrong without attacking any personality .
Gives sound judgment: He
or she has the ability to identify and prioritise issues, and weighs
alternatives carefully before making decisions.
Takes responsibility: He
or she never blames others for problems.
If there is common property in
the place you leave in, you automatically becomes a member, like it or not.
Over time, we have noticed that
home owners, can be categorised into three groups: Those who make things
happen; those who wait for things to happen; and those who asked "What
Which group do you belong to?
Choose your leaders well and prosper - or wait for the next general meeting
and run for the council member post.