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Leaving the nest and looking for your own place? You might be in the market for an apartment, but here are some things you should know about living in a high-rise.

1. Some pets are not allowed (sometimes)

Depending on the flat, apartment, or condominium you choose to live in, your furkid may not be allowed to move in with you.

We’re not entirely pleased about that either. Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash.

The Strata Management Act of 2013 (SMA 2013) places the power to decide, on whether pets are allowed in subdivided (strata) properties, in the hands of local authorities.

From the top down, that would be the municipal or city councils, followed by the joint management body (JMB) of a property, as described in Section 32 (Subsection 3) of the SMA 2013, or the management corporation, as stated in Section 70 (Subsection 2).

The various municipal councils impose differing criteria for the keeping of pets. Some, such as the Petaling Jaya City Council and the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council, do not permit dogs in high-rise properties. Others, like the Putrajaya Corporation, are less clear about keeping pets and may require a phone call.

First, figure out where the property you intend to move into is located, and more importantly, which local authority you should be checking in with.

The ten municipal or city councils in the Klang Valley are:-

1. Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL)
2. Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ)
3. Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya (MPSJ)
4. Majlis Bandaraya Shah Alam (MBSA)
5. Majlis Perbandaran Klang (MPK)
6. Majlis Perbandaran Selayang (MPS)
7. Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ)
8. Majlis Perbandaran Kajang (MPKj)
9. Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj)
10. Majlis Perbandaran Sepang (MPS)

A city or municipal council may permit keeping pets in strata properties (although the rulings tend to be almost entirely about dogs), but the management body of a property may have implemented house rules that do not—so check the house rules before moving in to be sure.

2. There’s another bill to pay

As a working adult, you may be familiar with the concept of utility bills. Beyond the basic requirements of water and electricity, there may be other utilities to pay for, such as an internet connection, a landline, and a satellite or cable television subscription.

Pictured: The remainder of the average adult’s paycheck after paying bills. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

If you’re renting, those are likely all the bills you’d ever have to worry about. But becoming the owner of a strata property means that you’d probably have to set some money aside for maintenance fees and a sinking fund for the upkeep of the building. As a tenant, your landlord would be (or should be) paying those fees.

3. You would have to participate in some meetings (as an owner)

In addition to maintenance and management charges, as the owner of a strata property, you would have to participate in the occasional meeting along with other owners.

“All in favour of letting dogs live here?” Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash.

You could skip out on attending the annual general meetings (AGMs) and extraordinary general meetings (EGMs), but you would be giving up your right to a voice in the management and operational considerations of your property and the common areas to which you have access.

4. You will have way more neighbours

As there are markedly more humans per square kilometre with high-rise properties, it probably goes without saying that you will have to be aware of the house rules and unwritten social conventions to do with a range of issues including (but certainly not limited to) noise, renovations, parking, refuse disposal, visitors, shared facilities, and sometimes, the occasional student hostel or Airbnb.

It’s probably not explicitly stated in the house rules, but it still needs to be said: There shall not be, under any circumstances, any raves. Photo by Joel Amissa on Unsplash.

Most of these rules will be discussed in those general meetings mentioned previously, so if you want to have a say, this is another gentle reminder to attend.

Now that you’ve read this, you are more or less prepared to live in a high-rise property — and you didn’t have to spend a few regrettable months discovering the various nuances of vertical living the hard way.

Do you have any harrowing tales about living in an apartment? Tell us about it! Or read on about how to bring complaints before the Strata Management Tribunal here.

(Written by Kevin Eichenberger, 4th February 2020)


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There are much more issues and matters one has to observe and be aware in the high rise living in Malaysia. There are Management Corporation, the Committee, house rules and matters of mutual covenant.

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Living in stratified property is good when we have good neighbors esp those who pay their bills and good committee with good management team, otherwise you will pay some rascal's share at your own expenses. Came across owners who collect rents every month yet refuse to pay service charges (maintenance fee) and you can sue all you want and results in few years time and meanwhile that fella enjoying himself with rents he/she pocket

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@carmenfoong Advise your owner to exercise the Tribunal as stipulated in the ACT757-Strata Management Act for those chronic defaulters, abusive and black box operation committee. See what happen.