news

Not OK to waive maintenance fees in light of Covid-19

PETALING JAYA (May 22): Many strata property owners may have sought waivers or discounts on maintenance fees since the Covid-19 outbreak and the ensuing Movement Control Order (MCO) period but such fee waivers and discounts are not viable as any adjustments in fee collection or sinking funds will need the approval of property owners via an AGM or EGM, said Chur Associates founder and managing partner Chris Tan.

Read also
Covid-19: Stricter SOPs needed for short term rentals
JMBs and MCs advised to comply with SOPs during pandemic
What is the ideal pandemic-proof home?
Be cautious of bad indoor air quality post-MCO, says expert

Tan was speaking during EdgeProp.my’s FB Live Fireside Chat on ‘Property management now and post pandemic: Woes | Legality | Reality’ held last night. Other panelists were Architect Centre Sdn Bhd accredited architect and trainer Anthony Lee Tee and Henry Butcher Malaysia (Mont’Kiara) Sdn Bhd executive director Low Hon Keong. The session was moderated by EdgeProp Malaysia managing director and editor-in-chief Au Foong Yee. The Fireside Chat was supported by Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd and Panasonic Malaysia.

Tan noted that under current laws and regulations, it is compulsory to have the physical presence of property owners in an AGM or EGM. However, according to the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s SOP in light of the Covid-19 updated May 20, 2020, Joint Management Bodies (JMBs) and Management Corps (MCs) cannot hold any AGMs and EGMs. “Besides, it would not be workable due to social distancing measures,” Tan added.

Furthermore, current laws also do not support virtual or online AGM or EGMs to be held as the Strata Management Act 2013 states that physical presence of owners is required.

“Even if online AGMs are allowed, would it be accessible to all especially those in low-cost or affordable housing schemes? Also, can the system support so many people going online at the same time? How do we ensure the discussion could involve the majority?” Tan questioned.

Henry Butcher’s Low said it is impossible to give waivers or discounts as the JMBs and MCs may not have enough funds otherwise.

“Even if we give a discount, service providers may not give us a discount as maintenance, repair or cleaning works have to be carried on as usual,” said Low.

Such requests are also considered unfair to other property owners and to the property managers. During the MCO period for instance, the load level on the property was even higher as everyone was required to stay at home.

Lee concurred saying that the move would be “penny wise, pound foolish”.

“MCO is the time where everyone stays at home and if the buildings are not well-kept, many infrastructure and systems like sewage systems and piping, would fail. Reducing the maintenance charges will ‘sink’ the property’s maintenance level,” he said.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Stay safe and get more property insights at EdgeProp.my

For the full report on the virtual Fireside Chat read the May 29, 2020 issue of Edgeprop.my ePub.

Interested to know more about what’s happening in the property market? Click and watch our previous Fireside Chats:

- The F&B Revolution: When customers can't visit you, what do you do?

- The Malaysian property market picked up in 2019! Could this be its last hurrah?

- “Will Malls Be Empty In The New Normal?”

- "Will the Malaysian property sector survive this mother of all crises?" 

- “Undervalued Properties: Opportunities or Risk?”

#myedgeprop   #epfiresidechat 

Looking for properties to buy or rent? With >150,000 exclusive listings, including undervalued properties, from vetted Pro Agents, you can now easily find the right property on Malaysia's leading property portal EdgeProp! You can also get free past transacted data and use our proprietary Edge Reference Price tool, to make an informed purchase.
SHARE
RELATED POSTS
  1. Sandakan's Nak Hotel to close on June 15
  2. No more Covid-19 spikes expected as depot screenings almost completed
  3. Covid-19: New cases nearly double to 37 today, eight imported