Can You Sue Your Condo’s Management?
What happens when a condominium “condo” you live in is in a state of disrepair? What can you do? Who can you sue? Today, we will briefly discuss just this issue.
Who manages a condo?
So who manages the condo? You as the owner of a unit in the condo? A corporate entity? Your neighbor’s cat? In reality, a condo is governed/ managed by an entity called the Management Corporation (‘MC’) or the Joint Management Body (‘JMB’). There are only one difference between the two- one does the job before the strata titles are transferred to homeowners (JMB) while the other takes over the job (MC) from JMB once the homeowner receives their respective strata titles.
Can you sue them?
Yes, you can. Section 17(3) of the Strata Management Act and section 39(3) of the Strata Titles Act specifically states that the JMB and MC can sue and be sued in its name.
You should, as it is within your rights as a homeowner to do so. Asides from filing an action in court, you can also voice your grievances via:
A. The strata management tribunal
Take note that:
- Any claim filed under the strata management tribunal sought must not exceed RM250,000.00;
- The tribunal cannot hear any claim on matters relating to the title of a land;
- The tribunal also does not have any power to hear any claim that is outside the scope mentioned under Part 1, Fourth Schedule of the Strata Management Act;
- Parties cannot file the claim both in the tribunal and the court at the same time; and
- Certain matters that have already been determined by the tribunal/ court cannot be heard again by the court/ tribunal in a subsequent proceedings.
B. The commissioner of building.
To pursue a matter under the commissioner, one must have an interest in a parcel alleging that the JMB/ MC is not performing their duties i.e. managing and maintaining the common property and the building itself in a satisfactory manner.
Under what circumstances can you sue your JMB/ MC?
When they fail to properly maintain the common property such as the electrical wiring systems, lift, water tanks, etc. Furthermore, Section 59 of the Act gave a list of obligations that a JMB/ MC must perform. If they fail to do so, they can be sued. You can sue your JMB/ MC when they fail to:
- Maintain and manage the condo i.e. maintain the condition of the property by servicing and repairing it when it is necessary.
- Ensure that the condo is properly insured.
- Comply with the local authority’s direction in relation to the maintenance and improvement of the common property or the abatement of any nuisance on the common property.
- Ensure that all accounts under the management corporation are audited and that the corporation is able to provide audited financial statements when they are called to do so.
- Prepare and maintain proper strata roll i.e. information of the property.
- Undertake the necessary and prompt actions to ensure that proper maintenance of the property.