K Residence unit holders sue developer Duta Yap over failure to form JMB within time

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 26): Unit owners at K Residence are suing DutaLand Bhd CEO Tan Sri Yap Yong Seong and developer KL Landmark Sdn Bhd for their alleged failure to establish a joint management body (JMB) within 12 months of delivery of vacant possession, the misuse of maintenance funds, as well as other misconduct in the management of the condominium.

Yap, widely known as Duta Yap, is a director at Olympia Industries Bhd, which wholly owns KL Landmark.

The 37 unit owners also named City Properties Sdn Bhd and Yap Wee Sean, a director at City Properties and son of Yap Yong Seong, as defendants.

They claim that KL Landmark had failed to establish a JMB within 12 months of delivery of vacant possession which was on July 1, 2008, pursuant to Section 4 and 5 of the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007.

The JMB was only established on June 15, 2018, after numerous warnings from the Commissioner of Buildings.

The plaintiffs also claim that the defendants had managed the condominium and utilised the management funds in a manner that was in their own interests and to the detriment of the owners.

“The plaintiffs further plead that the third and fourth defendants (Yap and Tap), personally benefited from the manner in which the condominium development was managed, prior to the setting up of the JMB,” said the plaintiffs in their statement of claim.

They also accused KL Landmark of allegedly permitting the Embassy of Morocco to lease two triplex units on the 42nd, 43rd and 44th floors of the condominium, which is owned by Leong Li Nar Realty Sdn Bhd (LLNRSB), which in turn is owned by Yap’s wife Leong Li Nar and his two sons, Yap Wee Sean and Yap Wee Chun.

Yap and Leong are also directors of LLNRSB.

The plaintiffs claim that KL Landmark had acted under the instructions of Yap Yong Seong and/or Yap Wee Sean in allowing the embassy to lease the units, which was intended to be for residential use only.

The presence of the embassy, they said, has caused a reduction in the prestige of the condominium, which had been marketed as a high end condominium, due to the removal of CCTV cameras at the request of the embassy on level 42 of the development and the excessive number of visitors.

The plaintiffs said there were a total of 718 visitors between Nov 2 and Nov 23, 2017, with the excessive number of visitors generally reducing the level of security.

Besides that, the embassy was given 18 access cards, a disproportionate amount to what would reasonably be required for a residential unit.

On the maintenance funds, the plaintiffs said about 45% of the total amount collected from the owners between 2008 and 2018 were used to pay utility bills by KL Landmark to City Development.

“The said utility charges comprised of chilled water charges, common electricity and refuse collection. Between 2009 and 2018, the first defendant paid the second defendant the sum of RM12.11 million for these utility charges. There were originally no supporting documents to support such payments,” the plaintiffs said.

Meanwhile, the fifth and sixth floor office units, which was assumed to be common property, were transferred to City Development, which the plaintiffs said was done without basis and fraudulently.

The plaintiffs, represented by Messrs Goh Wong Pereira, are claiming damages, interest on any judgement sum at the rate of 5% per annum, costs and such further relief as the court deems fit.
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