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Tuesday August 12, 2008

Condo officials ignorant of their rights

MANY officials of joint management bodies (JMBs) of high-rise apartments and condominiums have no idea about the provisions of the Building and Common Property (Management and Maintenance) Act 2007 and are often unclear about their rights under the act, according to Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh.

Yeoh said she observed this when dealing with the JMBs in the Subang Jaya municipality, who had come to seek her advice on management problems.

“When it comes to high-density units, the JMBs have no experience managing the building,” she said.

“Despite attending training sessions organised by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), many JMB officials still do not fully understand the rules and regulations involved,” she said.

“The JMB officials are still vague over their powers and there have been cases where their water and electricity supply are cut due to unpaid arrears by developers,” Yeoh said.

She said this was why she had conducted the recent JMB session in Bahasa Malaysia for the JMB representatives of Angsana Apartments in USJ 1 at the nearby Tabika Kemas to help them understand.

For the session, Yeoh also took along Mak Khuin Weng and Tengku Nazaruddin Zainudin who are familiar with issues related to condomiums and high-rise living.

“Mak and Nazaruddin have been giving talks and advising people in the Klang Valley on the JMBs. Hence, I asked their help to look into the JMBs woes of Angsana Apartments,” she said.

According to Angsana JMB Block C and E chairman Hazlan Omar, he only has a photocopy of the certificate of establishment issued by the MPSJ in March.

Mak said a photocopy was not good enough and the original certificate was required for the JMB to open a bank account.

“You need to either get the original certificate from the MPSJ or the developer,” he told the JMB committee.

“After that, you will need to write a letter to the developer to obtain the current set of accounts, and then get a list of house owners. Without the list, you won’t be able to do your maintenance collection later on as you would not know who has paid and who has not,” Mak said.

The Angsana has eight blocks of apartments managed by four JMBs.

Currently, each apartment pays RM35 a month to the developer as maintenance fee.

Mak suggested that the JMB officials buy a copy of Building and Common Property Act guidebook, which costs only RM15 each, to read up on building management.

According to Yeoh, the original certificate is issued by the commissioner of building (CoB). The MPSJ president and all other local council presidents and city mayors are the de facto CoBs of their respective municipalities.

“I will raise the JMB issue at the next state assembly sitting so that the people will know where to go when faced with problems,” she said.

Yeoh said at the Angsana. there were many tenants, including foreigners and it was difficult to trace the owners of these rented units.

“Moreover, their public hall has been occupied by a political party so they have no place to meet,” she said.

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