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First of all, before you start writing a formal letter of complaint or informing journalists, it’s best to have a nice chat with a representative from the property manager. This is because your complaint may have arisen from a mistake or misunderstanding. Moreover, it’s possible that your property manager doesn’t have any knowledge of your issue and they just learned about it from you.

But if the first step doesn’t rectify the situation, you have 5 other methods of filing a grievance against your joint management body (JMB), management corporation (MC) or appointed property manager.

I. Visit the office of the JMB or MC and talk to an official like the chairman to make clear the duties and obligations of the appointed property manager as stipulated under its contract with the JMB or MC. You may also inquire if the agreement details how complaints regarding the appointed property manager are handled.

II. Submit a formal letter of complaint to the JMB or MC, who are obligated to set up a process for tackling complaints.

III. Write an official letter of complaint to the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) in your respective area. Please consult the National House Buyers Association’s (HBA) list for the nearest commissioner.

After the COB has conducted an investigation on the complaint and found out that the developer, JMB, MC, or appointed property manager has failed to satisfactorily maintain and manage the land, buildings or common property in the strata development, the commissioner may appoint by written notification one or more persons to act as the property managers for a specified period of time.

IV. If your property manager is a member of a professional organisation, you can lodge a complaint against the firm for violating the association’s code of conduct. These include the Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) and the Malaysian Association of Professional Property Managers (MAPPM). However, please note that the professional body may ask the JMB or MC to submit the complaint instead of an individual unit owner.

V. Lastly, you can seek an order from the Strata Management Tribunal. But please bear in mind that the entity can only hear cases where the claim amount does not surpass RM250,000. Also, under the Fourth Schedule Part 1 of the Strata Management Act of 2013, the said body only has jurisdiction on the below cases:

What Kind of Cases Can Be Tackled By The Strata Management Tribunal?

A. Failure of JMB, MC or managing agent to perform their duties listed in Section 21 of the Act.

B. Subject to Subsection 16N(2) of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act of 1966, disputes on costs or repairs in a parcel, land or buildings meant to be subdivided, as well as the common property.

C. A claim for the recovery of maintenance fee, or contribution to the sinking fund or any amount deemed as debt by the Act.

D. A claim seeking an order to convene a general meeting.

E. A claim praying for an order to nullify proceedings of a meeting, where any provisions of the Act has been violated.

F. A claim seeking an order to invalidate a resolution that had been passed in violation of voting rights, or the resolution proponent had failed to provide due notice.

G. A claim praying for an order to nullify a resolution passed at a general meeting.

H. A claim seeking an order to repeal a revision to a by-law that impacts all unit owners.

I. A claim seeking an order to change the interest for late payment of maintenance fee and contribution to the sinking fund.

J. A claim praying for an order to differ the amount of insurance to be provided.

K. A claim seeking an order to go after an insurance claim.

L. A claim praying for an order to obligate a developer, JMB or MC to furnish information or documents.

M. A claim seeking an order to give approval to carry out modification to common property or limited common property.

N. Lastly, a claim praying for an order to affirm, change or repeal a decision made by a COB.

What Rulings Can You Expect from the Strata Management Tribunal?

According to the Fourth Schedule Part 2 of the Act, the tribunal has the power to issue the following rulings on cases brought before it:

A. Order a party to the case to pay an amount of money to another party.

B. Compel a party to refund a sum of money to another party.

C. Order a party to compensate another party for loss or damage incurred.

D. Compel the JMB or MC to rectify, set aside an agreement or additional by-laws, in part or as a whole.

E. The tribunal may order costs assigned to a party to be settled.

F. Compel a party to pay interest rate on any amount or monetary award of not more than 8 percent per year.

G. Dismiss a claim deemed vexatious or frivolous by the tribunal.

H. Make other orders considered expedient and just by the tribunal. It can also order something which it has jurisdiction to make. Please see the above cases on the scope of its jurisdiction.

I. Create consequential or ancillary orders or relief that may be needed to accomplish an order by the tribunal.

Can I Take My Property Manager to Court?

Yes, they can be sued if they fail to perform their obligations as per the property manager’s contract with the JMB or MC. But it’s the joint management body or management corporation who can file a case against them given the presence of such agreement.

Read more: Powers and Duties of a Joint Management Body (JMB)

Nonetheless, under Section 17 (3) of the Act, the JMB or MC can be sued. This means if the joint management body or management corporation allows the property manager to continue to operate despite its poor performance or feedback from unit owners, the unit owners can take the JMB or MC to court as the property manager is acting on their behalf.

One reason the JMB or MC can be taken to court is if they fail to perform their duties and obligations as stipulated in the Act, despite the monthly maintenance fee and contribution to the sinking fund paid by each unit owner. While the Strata Management Tribunal has jurisdiction over such cases, you can resort to a regular court if the claim amount exceeds RM250,000.

For more guides like this, visit the PropSocial discussion page.

(Written by G. Zizan, 26th November 2019)


N  e74c3c small

...easier said than Done.
My experience in Johor is frustrating.
Property Manager claims to be "well connected" to authorities,.. and continues to Harress me, aided by a Very Arrogant Chairwoman.
Do PM me for details

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Property Management companies are now licensed and governed under the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers, Malaysia. You may check on legitimate licensed companies and also file complain to this Board. Their website is   

Own dp small

Really informative. Thanks for sharing out. Easy to read and summarize everything

Y  27ae60 small

i have question. If the registered property management company is charging a condo for their fee, can they just give an invoice only stating "management fees  rm xxxx" without any breakdown of staff salary, and not showing their exact professional fee? i believe that there are charging as a lumpsum and paying the staff less.