10 Years And Above Multi-Own Strata Residential: Gold: Mont'Kiara Astana

It is not easy to upkeep a building which is reaching its 20th year. To the Management Corporation (MC) and the property manager of Mont’Kiara Astana (MK Astana) however, the most challenging thing was never about the maintenance of this condominium in Mont’Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. To them, it was the effort it took to establish and nurture a close working relationship between the property manager SCM Property Services and the MC.

“We are blessed because the committee members in the MC are very committed and supportive. All the past upgrading works would not have been completed without the support from the MC,” says Andrew Tan, assistant building manager at SCM Property Services Sdn Bhd (SCM) and the onsite property manager of MK Astana.

SCM is a subsidiary of property development company UEM Sunrise Bhd (fornerly known as Sunrise Bhd), the developer of MK Astana. SCM has been managing MK Astana since its completion. The condominium is a low-density project situated on a 5.58-acre freehold site at the heart of Mont’Kiara. It won the Gold in the 10 Years and above category of Edgeprop Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards 2019.

“Mont’Kiara Astana is also known as MK 5, meaning that it is the fifth condominium in the area by the developer. But take a look around, do you feel that this condominium is already stepping into its 20th year?” asks proud owner and MC chairman Yeoh Beng Hooi as he leans back on his chair at the residential lounge fronting the newly upgraded swimming pool with a new kids’ water slide.

Unlike the majority of its residents, Yeoh only moved into MK Astana a few years ago. He says the resort setting of MK Astana was what attracted him the most.

“I went around and found no place like Astana. It offers spacious common areas, grand drop-off area like a hotel and lush landscaping. I love it because once you step in here, you will not hear the noise from the main road. It is a hidden gem in Mont’Kiara.

“I also like the excellent work done by SCM. They are responsive, committed and professional. The building’s good condition speaks for the good job done by the management team,” says Yeoh. 

The condominium’s other facilities include tennis courts, a gym, sauna, multi-purpose hall and basketball court.

Over the years, the MC and SCM have done touch-ups and other maintenance works on the common facilities. Bigger projects were carried out more recently such as piping replacement and repainting of the common interior areas including the building corridors.

“The condominium is very well taken care of by the residents as 70% of the units are owner-occupied and many have been here since day one. The residents care for the common areas like their own homes,” says Tan, adding that about 20% of the residents are foreigners, mostly from Japan and South Korea.

The current maintenance fee collection rate is almost 100% and it has always been that good, according to Tan.

“It is all about the service”

SCM general manager Paul Richard believes the most effective way to raise or maintain the collection rate is to prove to the residents the value of the property management team.

“Property management is a complex, detailed task but above all, it is all about the service. If the service makes everyone happy, the residents would be more than happy to pay on time because they see the value in doing so. I believe the quality of service is reflected in the collection rate,” Paul notes.

Yeoh chips in to say that the quality of service is the reason the MC continues to work with SCM.

“The team has been here since day one. They know the building best and are very committed and professional. Our balance sheet is very healthy,” Yeoh shares.

The MC and the management team have an open and transparent working relationship, where both parties can question or suggest anything anytime. 

“We are appointed by the residents to maintain their place. Suggestions for the property management may be good but we always go back to the residents for approval because this is their property,” says SCM senior manager Krishnaraj Perumalu.

For instance, the on-site management team came up with the proposal to not allow short-term rental (under 30 days) even though there was no such prior case. “The team made the suggestion to make it a by-law and in an AGM in 2018, all residents supported the agenda. So it is a house-rule now.

“We never had any short-term rental cases in Astana but we proposed the by-law to prevent any possible risk,” Paul notes.

The good work done by the MC and property manager has contributed to MK Astana’s growth in value. The average transacted price has increased by 85.7% to RM650 psf in 2018 from RM350 psf in 2000, according to data provided by the property manager. Meanwhile, the average rental yield has also grown to 5.65% in 2018 from 4.88% in 2014.

Moving forward, the MC and management team are planning to replace the flooring of the tennis court and repaint the external walls of the building.

“Mont’Kiara Astana is just like a pearl in Mont’Kiara. It is old but still shining because of the good relationship between the residents and the management team,” Yeoh concludes.

The highlights of the Awards:

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin on good property management:

For an overview of the winners at the Awards: Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah named Malaysia’s Exemplary Leader of Sustainable Development 2019

For more information about the Awards night and the winners, click here.

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my pullout on April 26, 2019. You can access back issues here.

  1. BON Estates doubles the celebration with its latest project Bon Kiara
  2. UEM Sunrise marks topping out of Residensi Astrea Mont’Kiara
  3. BON Estates draws new generation of home seekers with #BonWithYou Kombi Van