Building & Investment (Jan - Feb 2016) (Jan - Feb 2016) - Page 38

News & Events Seminar on Strata Management Act 2015 Industry experts addressed issues and implications in day-long seminar organised by the Building Management Association of Malaysia (BMAM). ALTHOUGH GAZETTED ON 8 February 2013, the Strata Management Act (SMA) 2013 and its governing Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations (SMR) 2015, finally came into effect on 1 June 2015, under the auspices of the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government. Ostensibly to do away with the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) 2007, the SMA and SMR serve to provide clear-cut steps in the sales, purchase and management of stratified properties and, at the same time, safeguard the interests of owners of said properties. Accordingly, a framework is now in existence for the establishment of a joint management body (JMB), management corporation (MC), a subsidiary MC, rights and responsibilities of owners and the appointment of a Commissioner of Buildings (COB) to administer the new legislation. Strata Management Seminar However, implementation of the SMA and 34 Building & Investment | www.b-i.biz SMR has, inadvertently, served up a number of unforeseen issues – administrative, operational and legal – with impact significant enough to warrant review and, more importantly, resolution. Hence the daylong Strata Management Seminar, organised by the Building Management Association of Malaysia (BMAM), where industry experts sounded out on precautions to be taken and pitfalls to avoid in the building, management and maintenance of stratified properties. Some concerns brought up at the Seminar, themed “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, included: s Section 6 (1) (a) and (b) – of the 13 sections or stages in the housing development process – mandates the filing of complete/final plans of schedule of parcels (showing proposed share units of each or proposed parcel and total share units of all parcels) to the COB before the sale of any parcel. In the case of phased developments, provisional plans, for subsequent phases, also to be submitted, i.e., total project submission. s s s This “envisages” that plans, schedule of parcels or share units cannot be amended/changed without penalties. Impractical to disallow amendments/ changes in parcels - the reality is that minor ones need to be done from viewpoint of “architecture, engineering, aesthetics, constructability, site constraints, availability of materials, etc.” This problem is further compounded in the case of mixed developments comprising apartments, retail outlets, offices, etc. “Overkill”, in the liabilities for noncompliance or negligence, to the tune of thousands of Ringgit or jail terms or both. Restrictions in tenure of office for members of JMBs/MCs (volunteer parcel owners) and, in relation to accounts, failure to comply is an offence with liability of fines or jail term. This will deter and aggravate existing difficulties in finding volunteers willing to serve. Q