KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Property managers should familiarise themselves with real estate law, especially the Strata Management Act 2013 to avoid being hauled to court by aggrieved owners, a lawyer told a forum of professionals here today.
Datuk Pretam Singh said there are approximately 1,200 cases filed to date against property managers with regards to strata-related issues at the strata tribunal this year.
“Many of you need to have a copy of the Act, failing which places you in a compromising situation because owners these days are becoming smarter and there have been instances where they were able to tell their rights better than a property manager,” the former chairman of the consumer tribunal said.
Pretam was speaking at the Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers (MIPPM) inaugural forum entitled “Towards 1st Class Property Management”.
Pretam, who was also legal adviser and deputy public prosecutor at the housing and local government ministry, then explained that a court proceeding for such cases would usually take up to 60 days to receive a judgement.
If the property managers lose the case and fail to pay the fine that can be up to RM250,000, he said, applicants can then seek a civil proceeding.
“Failing to abide to the tribunal’s judgement is a criminal offence so I urge all building managers to know the Act and perform your duties accordingly,” he added.
The strata management Act was enacted to provide for the proper maintenance and management of buildings.
Meanwhile, Sunway Group general manager Julian Cheng, who was also among the panelists, said court proceeding should be the last resort.
He said seeking the Commissioners of Building (COB) as an arbitrary between owners and building managers should suffice.
“If it doesn’t work out at the COB, then the next step would be the court but that should be the last step,” he said.