Landmark ruling on failure to pay maintenance fees


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 03 Jul 2020

(From left) MPSJ COB director Mohd Marwan Khalilludin, Buhairi, Zulkarnain and Chang outside the Subang Jaya Municipal Magistrate’s Court.

SUBANG Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) is the first local authority in Malaysia to pursue legal action using the Strata Management Act 2013 against maintenance fee defaulters.

And there would be more to come, vowed MPSJ deputy president Mohd Zulkarnain Che Ali.

He was speaking at the Subang Jaya Municipal Magistrate’s Court in SS15, Subang Jaya, yesterday after the court convicted and fined the defendant RM5,500, in default of a one-month jail term.

The defendant was also ordered to pay the maintenance fees arrears.

It was the fourth hearing for several lawsuits filed by MPSJ.

The first was on Jan 30.

The lawsuits were filed by the council via the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) on Dec 31,2019, making MPSJ the first local council to file a suit under the Act.

“With the start of these prosecutions, we hope to educate strata unit buyers and owners in the municipality and all over Malaysia not to take the Tribunal for Strata Management (TPS) and its decisions lightly.

“It also sends a clear message to buyers and owners not to disregard their responsibility under the law to pay the monthly maintenance fees to ensure that management and maintenance in a strata building can run smoothly, ” said Zulkarnain.

The lawsuits were filed after COB received information from Housing and Local Government Ministry’s (KPKT) strata management branch’s prosecution, auditing and enforcement unit and the joint management body of Pangsapuri Putra Walk, Taman Pinggiran Putra, Section 2, Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan, at the end of 2018.

It pertained to defaulters who failed to comply with the award handed down by TPS, instructing unit owners to pay the outstanding maintenance fees within 30 days.

Also present was National House Buyers Association secretary-general Datuk Chang Kim Loong.

“When the tribunal issues an award, it must be complied with within a certain time frame, failing which it will be termed a criminal offence, ” said Chang.

“Under Section 123 of the Act, non-compliance of a decision made by the tribunal is an offence.

“Upon conviction, the defaulter is liable to a fine not exceeding RM250,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both.

“For non-compliance, there will be a fine of RM5,000 per day.”

KPKT urban service division senior principal assistant secretary Buhairi Jahilan said they were looking into 1,230 cases at the moment.

“If owners fail to comply with the TPS, it will cause problems for strata management properties, ” he said.

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