Bigger say for high-rise
11/12/2006 The Sun By B. Suresh Ram
KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 11, 2006): The days when developers of high-rise
apartments lord over their property in the initial years -- sometimes making
decisions against the interest of their buyers -- will soon be over.
Under the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Bill
2006 which will go through the second reading in the Dewan Rakyat this week,
the buyers and the developer will have to form a "Joint Management Body" to
manage the affairs and interests of the owners, before strata titles are
Now, buyers depend on the developer to manage their common property and
other maintenance issues until they get their strata titles to enable them
to form management corporations. But, as experience has shown, getting the
strata titles can take many years, during which time the developer may take
actions, like imposing charges, that are unfair to the buyers. In some
cases, the developers renege on their duties and fail to maintain the common
areas well, causing the value of the property to drop.
After the Bill is passed by Parliament and gazetted, developers of high-rise
property which had been handed over to buyers must convene a meeting of the
joint body, the latest 12 months after the Act comes into effect.
The quorum is one-quarter of the purchasers who had paid their maintenance
charges. If this quorum is not met half an hour after the meeting starts,
those present can constitute a quorum.
In the event that nobody turns up, or if those present refuse to be
office-bearers, the developer has to inform the building commissioner (a
post that will be set up under a new law) who will take prescribed measures
to overcome the problem.
In the interim, the developer is responsible for maintenance works.
The Bill provides for a fine of not more than RM20,000 or a jail term not
exceeding three months or both, if the developer fails to convene the
These are the duties of the proposed "Joint Management Body":
It will be a corporate body,
and can sue and in turn, be sued;
At its inaugural meeting, the
body will elect office-bearers to decide on the monthly maintenance fee to
be paid by purchasers and decide on the interest rate payable by
purchasers on late payment;
To maintain the common property
and keep it in good and serviceable repair;
To determine and impose charges
necessary for the repair and proper maintenance of common property;
To insure the building against
fire and such other risks;
Comply with notices and order
made by the local authority;
Prepare and maintain a register
of all purchasers; and,
Ensure the building maintenance
fund is audited.
The powers of the body shall be:
Collect from purchasers
maintenance and management charges;
Authorise expenditure to carry
out maintenance and management of common property; and
To make house rules for proper
management of the building.
The Bill covers all strata-title
property, including those built on commercial land like serviced apartments.