June 22, 2011

Joint Management Body / Committee

The Joint Management Body is only relevant to strata title development which has not been issued strata title. As individual title for strata housing development will only be issued a few years after the buyers get the vacant possession of the property, the management of the strata development will be in the hands of Joint Management Body.  Joint Management Body or its acronym known as JMB is still a very new concept in the Malaysian property landscape after the amendments to the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966 and the introduction of the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007. Amendments were also done to a few other Acts of Parliament such as Strata Titles Act 1985, Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 and Architect Act 1967, among others. Most of the amendments were   related to the final approval of a housing development and the management of strata development before strata titles is issued and a proper management is formed under the Strata Title Act 1985.

In order to understand the position of Joint Management Body, we need to see the law before the amendment. Before 2007, when the buyer of a strata property gets vacant possession, the management of the property will be in the hands of the housing developer who built the property. Until the strata title is issued, the buyer will pay maintenance charges and any other charges relevant to the property he bought to the management which is controlled by the housing developer. The management can be the housing developer itself or contracted out to asset management companies with licensed to do so. The management of a strata title property, using the money received from the buyers of the strata property will in turn manage the common facilities within the compound of the property. They will also pay third parties to insure the strata property, collect rubbish and ensure there is water being supplied to each unit of the strata property. All these responsibilities are spelt out in an agreement between the housing developer and the buyers called Deed of Mutual Covenant. When individual strata titles are issued to most buyers of the strata property, the management will then be passed to a body called Management Corporation.

As the arrangement before 2007 brought around a lot of problems for the buyers and even the management, which is basically the housing developer, through feedbacks received from all stakeholders, the government decided, a proper management comprising of the housing developer and the buyers need to be emplaced to manage strata property which has not been issued strata titles for each unit yet. That is where Joint Management Body comes in. Joint Management Body is the management which comes into existence within one year of handing over of vacant possession of a strata property until the issuance of strata titles to owners of the strata property. Joint Management Body also has a government body to manage it and settle any dispute arising out of managing the strata property. As most disputes by buyers of strata property are the buyers’ complain on bad management of the strata development by the housing developer and as for the housing developers on the lack of awareness of the buyers on their responsibilities when they live in a strata development, the amendments in 2007 tried to address these matters.

....to be continued in Part 2

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