THE Federal Court’s recent ruling that the construction of boom gates across public roads and guardhouses in residential areas is legal, “Okay to have boom gates, guardhouses in housing estates” (The Star, March 26), is timely in view of the many gated and guarded neighbourhoods mushrooming throughout Malaysia now.
The court had dismissed the case of Au Kean Hoe, a resident of D’Villa Equestrian housing estate in Kota Damansara, Selangor, who ceased to be a member of the housing estate residents association, stopped paying security and maintenance charges, and then commenced legal action against the residents association to declare the guardhouse illegal.
The court further issued an injunction order to restrain him from harassing the housing estate residents association and the security guards at the guardhouse.
By this ruling, house buyers seeking to purchase residential property in gated and guarded neighbourhoods should know that they can’t simply purchase the property and not pay security and maintenance charges to the housing estate residents association, regardless of whether they move in or not.
If they are not willing to pay for security and maintenance charges, they should buy their residential properties in an ungated and unguarded housing estate.
The police should give their full support to housing estate resident associations that are facing difficult non-paying residents.
Lawyers representing the seller and buyer in the sales and purchase of residential property should check whether the residential property is in a gated and guarded neighbourhood.
Once this is established, lawyers must ensure full settlement of arrears to the housing estate residents association for security and maintenance charges.
Hopefully, the Government will consider giving some form of tax deduction or rebate for house owners paying security and maintenance charges in gated and guarded neighbourhoods.