indepth

Passion for a thankless job

10 years and above multi-own strata residential Gold: One Menerung

Located beside Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC) on Jalan Senuduk in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur in a quiet enclave is One Menerung, where the well-heeled call home. The 11-year-old residential development comprises three condominium blocks and 12 townhouses on an eight-acre site.

The project looks nothing like its age, thanks to its excellent property management, which has led to its Gold win at EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Awards 2020 in the 10- years and above multi-own strata residential category.

It is a well-deserved accomplishment, not because the development has been problem-free, but in fact, because it has had to counter several challenges, and proved itself capable of overcoming each of them with well-thought out resolutions.  

For a start, one unique aspect of this place is the pocket park fondly called the Green Lung of One Menerung, situated right in the middle of the development. Even so, it is not part of One Menerung.

Spanning a total of 9,135 sq m, the Green Lung has been gazetted as Government Reserve Land. Although the One Menerung Management Corp (OMMC) had requested for a lease of the Green Lung for One Menerung’s exclusive use, KL City Hall (DBKL) rejected the request.

“The OMMC is appealing, asking DBKL to reconsider our request. But in the meantime, we have  appointed a landscape service provider that has been and continues to maintain the site by trimming the grass, carrying out pest control twice a month and keeping the trees lush and healthy,” says OMMC secretary, Jackson Ho.

Constant upgrading

One Menerung is home to 229 units with built-ups ranging from 3,013 sq ft to 6,865 sq ft. It is currently 66% occupied, of which 60% are owner-occupiers. Residents are made up of 65% locals and the rest are expatriates.

OMMC has engaged Henry Butcher Malaysia (Mont Kiara) Sdn Bhd to help manage this development since 2017.

Over the years, the OMMC and the Henry Butcher team have initiated several major upgrading and repair works on One Menerung. One of them was to rectify the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) system starting with Block A, the Annexe and Block C, when defects were found in 2015.

“During a LPG test carried out in 2015, a third party consultant identified serious defects in the LPG reticulation system for the tower blocks whereby the ball valves (main on/off switches) and gas meters were not located in the common property but within each apartment, and therefore only accessible with the permission from each owner or resident.

“Consequently, any maintenance or repair work to the gas pipelines for an individual apartment required the entire block’s LPG system to be shut down.

“As the system had to be rectified urgently, an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was called to approve the contract. The OMMC and the property management team had to oversee the implementation of several multi-million contracts involving the laying of new LPG piping reticulation,” Ho explains, adding that the process was rather challenging as it needed access to individual apartments.

Nonetheless, thanks to the hard work and professionalism of the management team, the contract work has been completed for two blocks over two years, with the remaining Block D to start soon.

The OMMC has carried out other upgrades as well including the makeover of Block A’s lobby, which was transformed into an open-concept design from what was previously a dark and stuffy space; the conversion of an under-utilised 200 sq ft space outside Block A into a BBQ corner; upgrading of the pool decks; and rectification of damaged flooring at Block D.

High expectations

According to data from EdgeProp.my, units at One Menerung were transacted for an average RM4.78 million (RM1,298 psf) in 2019 with the lowest transacted price at RM3.4 million,while the highest was RM7.45 million. One Menerung’s selling price was RM660 psf when it was launched in 2006.

For such high-end developments, naturally the residents have higher expectations when it comes to management and maintenance. The collection rate for One Menerung currently stands at 95% with residents paying a service charge of RM0.45 psf excluding sinking fund.

Moving forward, Ho says the management plans to replace the air-conditioners in the project into inverter types and consider the possibility of solar panel and rainwater harvesting installations. Repainting of the tower blocks is in the pipeline too.

Ho highlights that for the above tasks to be carried out the sinking fund will need to be beefed up as the account has been depleted due to the numerous projects undertaken over the years.

For the community’s best interest

With so much to do, there is no denying the commitment of the OMMC members towards their task. Passion, says Ho, has been the crucial element that keeps them handling their workload tirelessly, because it can be a thankless job with no financial rewards but criticisms.

“The MC members also have to be mindful of acting for the best interest of the community as a whole and not let their personal interest take precedence,” he points out.

The MC must also work hand-in-hand with the Henry Butcher team. “Each party needs to know its role. The relationship between the MC and property manager is similar to the relationship between the board of directors and CEO in a company. The MC is the policy-making body and decision maker while the management is the executor and manager of all the detailed day-to-day tasks,” he shares.

“We must not be tempted to go beyond our overseer and policy-making role into a detailed working role that may interfere with the management company’s role,” Ho stresses.

For the building management and maintenance to be sustainable, the OMMC also believes it is important for the management team to have the right people. The management team is presently led by Siti Najlaa from Henry Butcher and her support staff who has served here since Henry Butcher was appointed.

Get the full results of EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2020 here: https://www.edgeprop.my/awards2020

View the virtual awards ceremony here: https://buff.ly/2YFNcVg​

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my e-Pub on July 2, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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