IT is important for residents associations and committees to ensure that they are united in solving security problems in their respective neighbourhoods once the developer hands over the housing project to them.
Real Estate and Housing Developers Association Malaysia Perak Branch Chairman Tony Khoo Boon Chuan said problems usually appear because of disagreements among the residents.
He said when a project is still under the purview of the developer, problems are rare because of the covenant agreement binding the purchasers.
“My advice to residents associations or committees is to get a lawyer to draw up a supplementary agreement binding all residents on the terms and conditions for the long run.
“This is because everything boils down to the attitude of residents. Some will be willing to fork out extra to ensure they get a good night’s sleep while others just have the ‘who cares’ attitude,” he said in an interview recently.
Khoo said disagreements among residents in guarded areas are mainly over the fees to hire security guards.
“Often, some 70% will agree to the erection of a guard post with boom gates for round-the-clock security, while 30% will disagree with the idea.
“Then there are problems such as those who refuse to pay for such services not having access cards, making it a daily problem for them to get in and out of the housing area.
“There is also the issue of maintenance if residents don’t pay up and some housing projects become an eyesore,” he added.
Khoo said gated communities are schemes or housing projects that require prior approval from local authorities.
Guarded communities, on the other hand, are housing schemes without prior approval, but with perimeter fencing and guardhouses.
Gated communities are normally better planned, as there are proper guardhouse designs, perimeter fencing and additional common facilities such as swimming pools and community halls.
It is not unusual to hear about residents complaining of poor security in their housing areas and disagreements raised by purchasers. Sometimes, security guards are hired to patrol an area, although a residents association does not receive 100% support from the people in the area.
Lawyer G. Kirubanantha Moorti said there are many issues raised when people buy property.
Sometimes, the buyers feel cheated by the developer for failing to fulfil promises.
He said, sometimes the picture provided by developers on housing projects is not the end product that purchasers receive.
“So, to avoid such problems, buyers must be very careful and know the differences between ‘a gated-and-guarded housing estate’ stated in their sales and purchase agreement (SPA), and one which merely mentions ‘24-hour security’ in the advertisement and not in the SPA.
He said it is important to read the SPA or rules, especially for condominiums, which are bound by such rules.
“It is better first to confirm with the developer the sort of security system that will be implemented around the housing area.
“However, once the project is handed over to the residents association, there must be strong cooperation among the purchasers to ensure adequate security,” he added.