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Strata property management rules compliance during pandemic times

 

During the new normal in the context of a Strata - or regulated community living, it is always important to know what should be done during this extraordinary time involving Covid-19.

This is especially challenging when there is a need to conduct annual general meetings (AGM) or extraordinary general meetings (EGM) to ensure the proper functioning of the property management, Chur Associates founder and managing partner Chris Tan pointed out.

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Physical presence is not a hindrance, thanks to technology, said Tan, adding that with the usage of technology, Joint Management Body (JMB) and Management Corporation (MC) could even have a hybrid model of AGM/EGM and enhance the communication within the community.

With the technology, it encourages JMB/MC to have meetings online. Having said so, he noted physical meetings are still viable (in states which are not under movement control order), but JMB/MC must comply with Security Council (MKN) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), such as only allowing attendees no exceeding 50% of the venues capacity.

Tan also stressed that communication is crucial during pandemic times to avoid future disputes, especially in dealing with matters related to the AGM/EGM, the management office should try their best in reaching out to the property owners via all sorts of communication - noticeby-hand, email, announcement on notice board, mobile phone messages and even social media.

“One should simulate the entire process in their mind (AGM/EGM in online, offline or hybrid model) and always check the MKN website for the latest SOPs,” he advised.

Tan was speaking during his virtual presentation entitled “Covid-19 and strata property management rules compliance” during the EdgeProp.my symposium on “Excellent Property Management 2021: Future-proof your investment in the new norm”.

Utilisation of sinking funds

In property management during “new normal”, many questions have been raised such as the utilisation of sinking funds to pay for the sanitisation cost of the common areas.

In such cases, Tan noted that sinking funds could be used for the sanitisation of common areas in a strata development as long as the decision was approved during the AGM or EGM.

“Upon the agreement from the AGM/EGM that the sinking fund can be used, provide the service charge computation for the expected sanitisation costs of the strata building/facility as well,” he added.

Another dilemma faced by the property managers is whether to reveal the details of the residents who were tested positive for Covid-19.

He said the management office should not disclose personal details of Covid-19 patients to other residents in any circumstances and one should not make reference to the Personal Data Protection Act when restricting access to personal details of Covid-19 patients unless it is to government authorities for lawful reasons.

“This is because the Strata Management Act 2013 does not explicitly or implicitly empower MCs or JMBs with any abilities to do so in this context,”.

Tan was among notable speakers during the symposium which included Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers president Adzman Shah and Architect Centre accredited building inspector Anthony Lee Tee.

Representatives from the management committee of the award-winning projects from the recently concluded EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Awards 2021 also shared their insights on effective property management. The speakers were Westside III @ Desa ParkCity JMB chairman Ken Yeo Kian Ing, Kiara Park Condominium MC secretary and past chairman Lawrence Loh and Sri Penaga Condominium MC past chairman Khaw Chay Tee.

The EdgeProp.my Symposium on “Excellent Property Management 2021: Future-proof your investment in the new norm” was presented by EdgeProp.my, with Nippon Paint Malaysia as partner and Panasonic Malaysia as the supporting partner. The symposium was also supported by The Edge Malaysia.

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my E-weekly on April 16, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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