KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 5): The authorities are ramping up action against condo and apartment owners defaulting on maintenance payments — by raiding their units and seizing movable items, The Star reported today.

The daily reported that five units of a Bangi, Selangor were raided in May because their owners’ failed to settle fees totalling thousands of ringgit.

And defaulters, do not think a small outstanding balance will keep you off the enforcer’s radar.

Mohd Syaifulrizal Mohd Bakar, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry's urban service division senior principal assistant secretary, said there is no minimum amount of unpaid fees that would prompt the ministry's raids.

“As long as the joint management body (JMB) or management corporation (MC) of a condo or apartment has served a written notice to demand payment from the unit owner, and it is unpaid after 14 days, enforcement can take place.

“The JMB or MC can serve a warrant to the defaulters with the help of the COB and ministry,” he told The Star.

In the joint raid by the ministry, Kajang Municipal Council's Commissioner of Buildings and the Bangi apartment's management body, the seized items were either auctioned to clear the unsettled fees or claimed by unit owners who later coughed up payments.

The items seized included flat-screen televisions, rice cookers, gas tanks and smartphones, The Star said.

TheEdgeProperty.com has run many articles on property management, especially about the responsibilities and roles of the owners, managers and developers.

It is well known that the level of service charge collection has a direct impact on the level of maintenance of a building.

Adequate service charge collection is a major factor in ensuring a building is well maintained, which in turn sets the foundation for the property’s value to be maintained or rise in the long run.

Property owners remain the main stakeholders who must decide the fate of their properties.

According to a recent survey by Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers, the management of some 70% of condominiums and apartments in Malaysia are considered to be “below par”.

* Dear owners, don’t let bad management ruin your property

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