Wednesday January 23, 2013
Tribunal to address strata management disputes
KUALA LUMPUR: A tribunal to address strata management disputes such as the failure to pay management fees in an apartment complex is being set up, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung.
This was to enable the tribunal to be up and running once the Strata Management Act 2012 came into force later this year, said Chor, adding that the Act was expected to be enforced between the middle and third quarter of the year.
“The tribunal will ease the burden of building managers in handling disputes, including cases of apartment unit owners failing to pay management fees and issues on the election of committee members.
“With this tribunal, such disputes need not be taken to court and can be resolved with minimal costs. Complainants can just file a case with the tribunal,” he said after launching the Property Management Time Bomb Seminar “Strata Management – More Solutions or Problems” here yesterday.
The tribunal, said Chor, would handle cases which did not exceed RM250,000.
“Tribunal members will comprise retired judges and lawyers with at least 10 years of experience in the field. They will take turns to sit in the tribunal,” he said.
The tribunal, he added, would also be set up in states with many high-rise buildings, such as Penang.
Among others, the Act allows for the streamlining of management practices of the joint management body and management corporations of stratified properties, such as condominiums and apartments.
The ministry, said Chor, was currently waiting for the royal assent to be granted before the Act could be gazetted.
To further enhance efficiency, he said the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) Department in local councils would have a full-time deputy to address problems concerning high-rise buildings.
“The department will also have an additional four to five employees. This is all at the expense of the Federal Government,” he said.
The move was introduced as some COBs were also local council presidents or mayors who might not be completely available to address issues on high-rise buildings due to their other responsibilities, he said.