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Mak: Condo owners must know their rights

18/08/2008 The Star By Tan Karr Wei

RESIDENTS of apartments and condominium units should take a pro-active role in running their Joint Management Bodies (JMB).

According to Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor Mak Khuin Weng, it is important for unit owners to know their rights to successfully run the JMBs and address any conflicts with the developers.

Mak was speaking to residents of Armanee and Park Avenue condominiums at Damansara Damai, Petaling Jaya, during a meeting to address some of the problems that the Joint Management Committees (JMC) were facing.

Many residents, including those in the JMC, were not clear about their roles and rights under the Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007.

“The JMC dictates what goes on in your condominium like the maintenance fees and the service contractors.

How it’s done: Mak (left) and Tengku Nazaruddin explaining the issues involved to the reisdents.

“If you are not satisfied with the company managing your condo, you have the right to terminate their services,” Mak said.

According to Armanee Condominium JMC member Zaimi Rosmida Md Jamin, the JMB was formed in January this year but there were disputes with the property management company and even within the committee itself.

“We’ve had a few meetings where the chairman was not present,” Zaimi said.

Mak said a chairman was supposed to preside over all meetings and committee members could call for a vote of no confidence if they were not satisfied with the chairman.

“It is important to keep the minutes of meetings, which have to be submitted to MBPJ. Minutes have to be approved and signed by members. It is proof of whether you are running the JMB in accordance to the law,” Mak said.

Acknowledging the fact that the Building and Common Property Act 2007 is new and could be vague, Mak said he was working with lawyers and council officers to define any ambiguity in how MBPJ interpreted it.

“To further help owners, the council has set up an arbitration board if issues with the developer still cannot be settled. We’ll sit in the meeting as a neutral party.

“However, MBPJ will not call for this arbitration unless all the necessary documented evidence is provided. That is why your meeting minutes are very important,” Mak said.

He said there were 93,000 units of condominium and apartments under MBPJ and only four staff members handling these issues.

He urged residents to unite and get involved in the JMC even if they were not in the committee and to get legal advice if they had doubts.

Also present at the meeting were Condominium, Apartments and Highrise Committee (CAHC) Tengku Nazaruddin Zainudin and All-Petaling Jaya Selangor Residents Association Coalition (APAC) chairman Liew Wei Beng.

Liew advised residents to set up residents associations (RA) to monitor the JMBs.

“The RA helps to forge closer ties between the residents, making it easier to work together.

“With an RA, residents could also have a pool of people who could be chosen to sit in the JMC when the need arises,” said Liew.


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