This website is


 Welcome    Main    Forum    FAQ    Useful Links    Sample Letters   Tribunal  


Is condominium living for you?
01/06/2003 Published in Malaysian Business - Housing & Property By National House Buyers Association of Malaysia

Questions to ask if you're thinking of buying a condo

People buy condominiums for a myriad of reasons. Many condominiums have security services and amenities.

If you are thinking about buying a condominium unit to live in, here are some questions to consider:

1) Are you a good neighbour?

Condominium residents share walls, floors/ceilings, hallways, entrances and parking areas with their neighbors. Respect for other people's right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes is part of the arrangement. Your neighbours will appreciate (and hopefully reciprocate) your efforts to turn down the volume, walk softly, close your doors quietly and limit your vacuuming to reasonable hours.

2) Are you willing to follow the community's rules?

In every community, small or big, rules and regulations are required for everyone's benefit. Condominium owners are bound by the covenants, by-laws and all other conditions and rules as set by the original proprietor or the Management Corporation (MC). These various covenants cover everything from special assessments and the election of the association's officers to the allocation of parking spaces and the use of recreational facilities. Owners who fail to follow the rules can be fined, and complaints with the relevant authorities for seizure of an owner's property can be made if the fines or assessments are not paid. I

4) Are you comfortable with joint financial responsibility?

The management and maintenance of a condominium depends on the contribution from all owners through monthly payments of maintenance charges and regular contributions in the building fund and other payments. Delinquent payments will cause disruption to the management and, in the long run, affect the overall look of the condominium. You should feel comfortable about paying your maintenance charges for as long as you are the owner of the unit.

Condominium owners, must also come to an agreement (by consensus or vote) on a variety of maintenance and repair matters. Should an older roof, unreliable security gate or re-painting be replaced or considered this year or next year? Should a special assessment be collected for an emergency repair or extra service? How much money should be spent on landscaping? How many guards are needed?

5) Are you prepared to volunteer your time for association business?

Owners of a condo are all automatically members of the MC, formed under the Strata Titles Act, 1985. It is also possible for a temporary committee to be formed before individual strata titles are issued. The MC's office bearers are made up of volunteer owners. True, some condominium owners never volunteer. However, your lack of participation will be noticed by your neighbors, particularly in a smaller building. Being part of the community means you should take your turn at serving on the board of directors, joining a special committee, getting estimates for repairs or taking responsibility for other tasks that benefit the group as a whole. If you're willing to pitch in, you'll earn the gratitude and respect of your fellow owners.

Ultimately, the decision about whether or not a condo living is right for you all comes down to your individual preferences and tolerance levels.


  • Consider the total monthly cost of ownership, rather than the price of the condo unit. In addition to mortgage payments, condominium owners are responsible for quit rent, assessment tax, insurance, monthly maintenance charges, building fund, additional car-park rentals etc.
  • One attraction of living in a condo is the 24-hour security. However, with people living in close quarters, there are trade-offs. There is also a  degree of uncertainty about who your neighbours are as condo residents tend to be more mobile than landed property owners. Condo values tend to depend very much on the management services and problems will arise if they are not managed well.
  • For the purchase of a condo unit, the laws governing the sale and purchase agreement is under Schedule H – Buildings intended for sub-division under the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act. Strata Titles Act, 1985 covers everything regarding strata titles including the formation of a Management Corporation and the duties of developers and condo owners.
  • If a condominium is still under developer control (which means individual strata titles have not been issued), the governing documents and rules that unit owners, their tenants, guests are to obey are decided by the Developer from the SPA date. These governing documents and rules go by different names depending on the developer. Examples include “Deed of Mutual Covenant”, “bylaws”, “the rules and regulations” or “house rules”.


Main   Forum  FAQ  Useful Links  Sample Letters  Tribunal  

National House Buyers Association (HBA)

No, 31, Level 3, Jalan Barat, Off Jalan Imbi, 55100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-21422225 | 012-3345 676 Fax: 03-22601803 Email:

© 2001-2009, National House Buyers Association of Malaysia. All Rights Reserved.