• Court of Appeal Judge Wong Kian Kheong in his judgment on Feb 19 this year said that the areas in dispute, namely 342 car park bays, landscaped areas, a pool deck, and other common property from the developer and the purchaser of some of the areas, should be the common property of Centrestage and not belong to the developer and the purchaser.

KUALA LUMPUR (April 30): The High Court has ruled that the Joint Management Body (JMB) of Centrestage Petaling Jaya had the right to claim certain areas in the development as common areas and not private areas belonging to the developer and the purchaser.

Court of Appeal Judge Wong Kian Kheong in his judgment on Feb 19 this year said that the areas in dispute, namely 342 car park bays, landscaped areas, a pool deck, and other common property from the developer and the purchaser of some of the areas, should be the common property of Centrestage and not belong to the developer and the purchaser. Wong was the originating High Court judge in this case that began in 2017.

“This judgment sends a timely message that common property of development areas should not be misappropriated by the developers to the detriment of the JMB’s,” he said in his full grounds of judgment.

Wong also struck down the strata titles that had been issued for the common property areas and ordered their return to the JMB. He said that the strata register ought to be rectified and give effect to the JMB’s entitlement to the common property of Centrestage.

He said that the developer’s defence that the common areas were acquired by the developer before the JMB was formed lacks “locust standi” (capacity to bring an action to court). He said their defence is hard to accept because “... it could be abused by the developers to defraud purchasers of parcels in Centrestage by depriving those purchasers of the impugned areas before the establishment of JMB’s.”

The judge also compelled the developer to provide all the necessary documents and declarations on the status of the common property of Centrestage.

The judge said that it is mandatory for the developer — based on Section 15 of the Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA 2013) — to hand over the documents to the JMB. The judge then granted a perpetual mandatory injunction to compel the developer to hand over documents to the JMB.

He also said that the JMB is entitled to receive the rent/income the purchaser of the common area had received during the period.

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