PETALING JAYA (July 6): Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has become the first local authority in Malaysia that took legal action using the Strata Management Act 2013 against maintenance fee defaulters.

Several lawsuits were filed by the council via the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) on Dec 31, 2019, after the COB received information from Housing and Local Government Ministry’s strata management branch’s prosecution, auditing and enforcement unit and the Joint Management Body of Pangsapuri Putra Walk, Taman Pinggiran Putra, Section 2, Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan.This made MPSJ the first local council to file a suit under the Act.

According to The Star’s report, after the fourth hearing on July 2, Subang Jaya Magistrate’s Court on July 2 convicted and fined one of the defendants RM5,500, in default of a one-month jail term.  

The defendant, who had failed to comply with the Strata Management Tribunal's award in January 2020, was also ordered to pay the maintenance fee arrears.

Speaking to the media after the court hearing, Mohd Zulkarnain stressed that the court ruling has sent a clear message to strata property owners to not disregard their responsibility under the law to pay their monthly maintenance fees.

“The maintenance fees are important to ensure the daily operation and the upkeep of the building’s safety and living environment… The owners should not take the Tribunal for Strata Management and its decision lightly,” he said.

Meanwhile, National House Buyers Association secretary-general Datuk Chang Kim Loong said under Section 123 of the Act, non-compliance of a decision made by the tribunal is an offence.

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