News: 93% of multi-storey residential cases involved maintenance fee arrears

Oct 6, 2020

The residents’ failure to pay maintenance fees could see the multi-storey development suffering from faulty and inefficient lifts.

This comes as maintenance, repair and cleaning works at the development’s facilities, including lifts, could not be carried out due to lack of funds.

In fact, complaints received by the Strata Management Tribunal (TPS) in 2019 showed that 5,291 or 93% of the 5,675 cases posted involved maintenance fees – the highest in TPS, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) Housing and Strata Management Tribunal Deputy Chairman Mohammad Khalid Ab Karim told Bernama.

Read all about the strata management act here! 

The maintenance fee arrears usually involved medium and low cost houses that impose an average payment of RM30 to RM200 per month.

Of the 5,675 cases, TPS settled 78% or 4,456 cases in less than 150 days.

“’TPS will issue the award or decision in 150 days after a trial. If the quarters concerned defaulted they could be registered at the magistrate’s court for the Department of Buildings Commissioners (COB) to take action such as summons, criminal enforcement or auctioning of movable property,” he said.

Under the Strata Management Act 2013, the party that defaulted on an award like failing to settle the arrears within the stipulated period may be jailed by not more than three years or fined by up to RM5,000, reported Bernama.

“COB can also seize the items or movable property in the homes. Based on the record, not many legal actions were taken up to this stage, normally they settled the backlogs before being tried in court,” he said.

Aside from ensuring residents pay their fees, KPKT Urban Services Division Secretary Mohd Syaifulrizal Abu Bakar said housing management bodies should also conduct more engagement programmes with residents to boost their awareness on their responsibility on sharing joint property with others.

“If the residents do not care and do not feel involved, they will not understand and support the role and responsibility played by the management bodies in ensuring the joint property are maintained well,” he said, noting that legal action should only be taken as a last resort.

Management bodies should also be more transparent with their financial management and to manage the development based on the guidelines set by KPKT, he added.

Mohd Syaifulrizal said fee rates should also be fixed based on the current situation and the residents’ financial capability.

 

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Shirlee Toh
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