What is Common Property?
In a strata-titled property, common property is an area that does not belong to any particular parcel owner. It is capable of being enjoyed by all the owners that reside on the property1. This can include gardens, driveways, back alleys, lifts, parks, etc. It can also include the conduits that serve more than one parcel on the property. For instance, electrical wirings, pipes, water tanks, sewers, etc.
Both the management corporation and the parcel owner has a responsibility to maintain the common property. They also need to ensure that the property can be use and enjoy by the parcel owners. However, both have different roles and responsibilities to play when it comes to maintenances.
The responsibilities of management corporations
- Maintain, manage and ensure that the common property is in a good state2;
- Determine, imposed and collect the necessary amount of charges from the parcel owners. It will be used for maintaining the common property in a good state and serviceable repair3;
- Comply with orders given by public authority to rectify any problems or to do repaid works or improvement on the common property4. Other than that, to recover any sum incurred by them from the parcel owners in complying with the orders5;
- Authorizes any expenditure for the maintenance and management of the common property6. Else, authorizes the purchase, hire or acquire movable property for the use of parcel owners on the common property7;
- Employ the services of any person to manage and maintain the common property8; or
- Create additional by-laws in relation to the governance and maintenance of the common property9.
The responsibilities of strata owners
Adhere to the prescribed by-laws
By-laws are regulations that the parcel owners need to adhere to. It is to ensure that all the parcel owners can use and enjoy the common property without hindrance. Generally, such by-laws are a creature of statute10. However, a management corporation can create additional by laws11 by a special resolution12. It is to regulate the use and enjoyment of the common property. Generally, the by-laws can include but not limited to:
- Repair and maintain his parcel to ensure that it does not have defects. Such defects might reasonably affect the other parcel owners from the use and enjoyment of the common property;
- Not behaving in a manner that might cause nuisance or embarrassment to other parcel owners who are using the common property. Else, to take reasonable steps to ensure that his invitees do not cause any nuisance or embarrassment;
- Not obstructing the common property by installing permanent fixtures on it, placing objects such as boxes, bicycles, potted plants, furniture, etc., or enclosing a part of the common property for personal use;
- Ensuring that any potted plants or solid objects that are hung within the vicinity of their parcel does not fall and damage the surrounding common properties;
- Ensure that the parcel owners or invitees of the parcel owners did not vandalize or damage the furniture, fixtures, and installations such as benches, lightings, fire extinguishers, railings, etc.
Ensure that strata owner pay all charges to the management committee
A parcel owner is required to pay a certain amount of fees, called charges, to the management committee13. This is in order to ensure that all common property is well maintained and repaired as and when it is needed. Usually, parcel owners will pay on a quarterly basis. The amount is dependant upon the share units of the respective parcels on the property14.
This is a mandatory requirement in every strata-titled property: Any parcel owner who fails to discharge his duty as a parcel owner to pay the relevant charges when it is due can be sued by the corporate management of the property. If found liable can be subject to:
- A fine not exceeding RM5,000.00 or to imprisonment not exceeding three years or both;
- A further fine not exceeding RM50.00 for every day if the charges due are not settled after conviction; or
- A warrant of attachment whereby the movable property of the parcel owner is confiscated or taken away. This is until the amount due is settled by the parcel owner.
1. Section 3, Strata Management Act 2013.
2. Section 59 (1)(a), Strata Management Act 2013.
3. Section 59 (1)(b) and (2)(a), Strata Management Act 2013.
4. Section 59 (1)(e), Ibid.
5. Section 59 (2)(d), Ibid.
6. Section 59 (2)(c), Ibid.
7. Section 59 (2)(e), Ibid.
8. Section 59 (2)(f), Ibid.
9. Section 59 (2)(g), Ibid.
10. Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015.
11. Section 59 (2)(g), Strata Management Act 2013.
12. Section 70 (2), Ibid.
13. Section 77 (2), Strata Management Act 2013.