Why strata owners need to attend general meetings
There is a clear lack of awareness and understanding on the part of homebuyers in relation to strata living which, consequently, leads to several common misconceptions.
For example, their reluctance to take part in the management council. They may consider it a waste of time or they do not want to get involved as they find it troublesome as it comes with a heavy responsibility. Another common misconception among strata title owners is the belief that they shouldn’t pay service charges if they are not happy with the quality of service.
Strata living requires strong participation from the owners. The lack of participation from owners in the management council is a constant challenge to the management. There is always a struggle to get people to sit on the management council. Limiting tenure of the management council members is a noble action to preserve its integrity, yet the council often only involves a minority of the owners.
A home owner has to understand that the management body may only act upon the major decisions concluded at general meetings and its decision-making is closely related to the benefits, comforts and enjoyment of the strata owners rather than for the management body.
Hence, it is always wise to be actively involved in the general meetings, if not the management committee meetings, in order to have one’s say in matters that reflect and affect the well-being of the residents and owners of the strata development.
Keep in mind that an efficient strata management directly impacts the valuation of the entire strata development and the strata units within. So that itself could be a motivation for an owner to be actively involved in the management council.
Strata owners are likened to shareholders of a management corporation. Thus, their active participation in general meetings is greatly encouraged so that the management body can work for the benefit of the strata development as a whole.
The agenda in a general meeting usually relates to the whole strata development and this includes incorporating additional by-laws, appointing an approved company auditor to audit the maintenance and sinking fund accounts, increasing or maintaining the charges and sinking fund, and considering any matters connected with the maintenance and management of the common property.
Strata management is the driver for strata living which is fast becoming a way of life in urbanised Malaysia. One must always be reminded that strata living is intended for community living which is similar to the “rukun tetangga” as practiced in the past in the “kampong” or “taman”. As such, it is utterly important for strata owners to actively participate in the management council to ensure efficient management of the strata property for the benefit of strata owners.
We all want a well-maintained strata property. Otherwise, it will result in a drop in the property’s value.
The concept of strata living was introduced in Peninsular Malaysia in 1985 and is a form of property ownership and development format that caters for the subdivision of buildings to ensure higher density and better efficiency of land utilisation. In 2007, the format of strata development was expanded to cover the popularly desired gated-and-guarded schemes with common property.
Chris Tan is a lawyer, author, speaker and keen observer of real estate locally and abroad. Mainly, he is the founder and now Managing Partner of Chur Associates.
If you have questions that you would like to pose to Chris, please go to the Tips section of www.theedgeproperty.com to pose your questions
Disclaimer: The information here does not constitute legal advice, please seek professional legal advice for your specific needs.