In a bid to get defaulters pay their maintenance fees, the government has raided the units of apartment and condo owners who failed to pay up and seized their movable properties.
In May, five apartment units in Bangi, Selangor were raided due to the failure of the owners to settle fees amounting to thousands of ringgit.
The raid was conducted by the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry along with the Kajang Municipal Council's Commissioner of Buildings (COB) unit and the apartment's management body.
The seized items, which included smartphones, flat-screen TVs and appliances such as gas tanks and rice cookers, were auctioned off to cover outstanding fees or reclaimed by owners who finally paid up.
Mohd Syaifulrizal Mohd Bakar, senior principal assistant secretary at the Ministry's Urban Service Division, revealed that similar enforcement efforts and seizures will be carried out in various locations nationwide.
He noted that there is no minimum amount for the seizure to be conducted.
"As long as the joint management body (JMB) or management corporation (MC) of a condo or apartment has served a written notice to demand payment from the unit owner, and it is unpaid after 14 days, enforcement can take place" he explained.
"The JMB or MC can serve a warrant to the defaulters with the help of the COB and ministry.â€
Aside from seizure of items, the JMB and MC can also file a summons in court against the defaulters or file an action in the Strata Management Tribunal under the Strata Management Act 2013.
Mohd Syaifulrizal believe that the Act is more comprehensive than the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act, which had already been repealed. In fact, the new law had improved the property management standards, he said.
"The ministry wants more JMBs and MCs to practise better quality management and maintenance to foster a harmonious and healthy living community" added Mohd Syaifulrizal.