‘Agents can manage strata properties if the JMB fails’


Rodziah (centre) says that she is preparing a working paper on the issue of poorly managed stratified properties. — KK SHAM/The Star

THE Commissioner of Buildings (COB) can appoint a management agent to maintain and manage a building if the joint management body (JMB) is not performing its duties satisfactorily.

According to Selangor housing, urban well-being and entrepreneur development committee chairman Rodziah Ismail, the Strata Management Act 2013 allows for this only after the COB carries out a thorough investigation.

“However, in reality, the COB faces difficulties in appointing management agents if the building is in a deplorable state and the maintenance charge collection rate is low.

ALSO READ: JMB members fined for failing to hold AGM

“Therefore, in dealing with the issue of JMBs failing and bearing in mind the difficulty of appointing an interested management agent, the state government needs to conduct an in-depth study regarding the cost implications if it wants to establish a special body.

“A JMB’s failure to carry out its role is usually due to lack of sufficient funds to manage and maintain the property,” she said in reply to Leong Tuck Chee (PH-Pandamaran).

He had asked if the state government could establish a body to replace an existing JMB.

“The state government cannot just take over (the role) of a JMB because we need to explore the issues at hand, including the lack of good management skills.

“Therefore, the state government feels that existing programmes need to be strengthened, especially those involving the financial aspects of JMBs,” she said at the Selangor State Assembly sitting in Shah Alam.

Rodziah said under the Selangor Housing and Property Board, the state government had several programmes to help JMBs carry out their responsibilities well.

“We have started the eCOB or online management programme, and people’s economic mobility programme to help residents who cannot afford to pay some of their outstanding fees.

“The fundamental issue of JMB is that residents are responsible for running it but they do not have full authoritative power.

“We need to consider methods used in other countries, including Singapore, where the building’s management is taken over by the local council, but they appoint a management agent for the implementation.

“By doing so, the existing fee collection can be better managed, eliminating issues like poorly maintained buildings or insufficient funds.

“All this discussions are at an early stage, and we will come up with a working paper on this matter,” she said.

Halimey Abu Bakar (PH-Seri Setia) also asked Rodziah if there was a time limit on how long the management agent would manage the building, and whether it would result in an increase in maintenance fees.

Rodziah said there would not be a time limit, as long as there was still a lack of competent management by the JMB.

“The COB cannot arbitrarily increase the fees without holding an annual general meeting for the residents to approve the proposal,” she said.

Meanwhile, three Selangor executive councillors did not attend the state assembly sitting as they had tested positive for Covid-19.

They are state socio-economic development, social welfare and workers empowerment committee chairman V. Ganabatirau, state local government, public transportation and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han and state Islamic affairs, consumer affairs and halal industry committee chairman Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni.

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