You’re probably aware of JMB, MC, and Sub-MC if you live in strata units such as condominiums, apartments, and gated-and-guarded (G&G) communities. But do you know what they do?
Due to high costs and scarcity of land in urban areas, one particular type of property has experienced a surge in popularity during the past few years – strata. Interestingly, around 30% of the nation’s populace are living in strata-title properties.
A strata property is defined as development or scheme where the building or land is carved out into different lots known as ‘parcels’. High rise residences such as flats, apartments, condominiums, and townhouses are typical strata properties. However, landed homes in Gated and Guarded (G&G) communities are also included in this category. An example of the latter is Desa ParkCity in Kepong.
In these development areas, notices are often placed in common areas like the main notice board, lifts, and mailboxes to keep residents updated on issues such as scheduled water cuts, lift maintenance, or mosquito fogging.
The notices usually come from statutory bodies such as the Joint Management Body (JMB), Management Corporation (MC), or Joint Management Corporation (JMC). While most residents are aware of these bodies, there is still unclarity of who does what.
1.What is JMB?
The JMB is an interim body that is set up to run and maintain a strata property beginning of the completion of the development until the issuance of strata title by the land office. Established under section 17 of the SMA, the JMB comprises of the developer and the strata owners/purchasers. They work together to ensure proper documentation, payment schedules, accounting, and the upkeep of the property. The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the JMB must be convened within 12 months from the date of delivery of vacant possession of the developer. The JMB will continue to exist and perform its duties until it’s dissolved. Once the JMB is dissolved, the MC or JMC takes over its role.
2. What are the duties of JMB?
The JMB has the responsibility to perform the following:
- Maintain & manage the common property
- Determine and impose charges in the maintenance fee for maintenance works
- Determine and impose the contribution to the sinking fund
- Effect insurance according to the SMA or to insure against such other risks
- Comply with any notice or order given or made by the local authority or any competent public authority in respect of the common property
- Prepare and maintain a register of all parcel owners of the building or land intended for subdivision into parcels
- Ensure that the accounts required to be maintained by the JMB under the SMA are audited
- Enforce the bylaws; and
- Do such other things as may be expedient or necessary for the proper maintenance and management of the buildings or land intended for subdivision into parcels and the common property.
3. What does the JMB do?
The JMB is empowered under the Strata Management Act (SMA) for the following:
- Collect maintenance fees from parcel owners
- Collect the contribution to the sinking fund from the parcel owners
- Authorise expenditure for carrying out the maintenance and management works
- Recover monies due from any parcel owners
- Acquire property for use by the parcel owners in connection with the common property
- Employ or arrange and secure the services of any person or agent to undertake the maintenance and management of the common property
- Make additional bylaws for the proper maintenance and management of the common property
- Do all things reasonably necessary for the performance of its duties under the SMA and the enforcement of the by-laws.
4. Can we sue JMB?
The answer is YES as it is your right as a unit owner or homeowner to do so. Section 17 (3) of the Strata Management Act (SMA) and section 39 (3) of the Strata Titles Act specifically states that the JMB and MC can sue and be sued in its name.
5. What is MC?
The consists of unit owners who are voted-in by other residents who attend the AGM of a strata development. It is sometimes referred to as the Joint Management Corporation (JMC) and serves to represent all strata unit owners and decide how to best manage the strata development. The main difference between a JMB and an MC is the former is an interim body that exists before the issuance of strata title by the land office.
An MC is established upon the opening of a strata register book after the strata titles are issued. However, an MC does not function until the first AGM of the MC is convened and the management committee is elected. The JMB is automatically dissolved within three months from the date of the first AGM of the MC.
6. What is the difference between JMB and MC?
Once it is established, the MC takes over the responsibilities of the JMB in running and maintaining the property. However, since the JMB is an interim body, it does not have all the powers entrusted to an MC according to the SMA.
Among the differences in power include:
Limitation on entering into contracts
Section 21(3) of the SMA states that a JMB shall not enter into any contract relating to the maintenance and management of any building intended for subdivision of parcels and common property in the development area for any period exceeding 12 months. This restriction is not imposed on an MC as it must engage its service providers every year.
The MC is allowed to borrow money in the exercise of its powers or the performance of its duties. The JMB, however, is not allowed to do so.
Under the SMA, only an MC is allowed to secure the repayment of money borrowed and the payment of interest thereon by negotiable instrument or by a charge of unpaid charges to the maintenance account (whether already imposed or not), or by a charge of any property vested in it or by a combination of any of those means.
Acquisition of additional land
Because the JMB is not the lawful proprietor of the lot, it cannot acquire land to be used for purposes with regards to the stratified development area. The MC, on the other hand, can do so because it is the lawful proprietor. Additionally, the MC can also accept the burden or benefit of easement imposed with regards to its lot.
7. What are JMB and JMC?
Every JMB will have a JMC. The JMC will be elected by JMB. Generally, the JMC consist of not less than three and not more than 14 members. This is determined by the JMB in a general meeting. The Second Schedule of the SMA states the provisions for the JMB, which governs the constitution, quorum, meetings, and proceedings of the JMC. This committee will perform the JMB’s duties and businesses. For that purpose, they are exercising any of the powers of JMB.
8. What is Sub-MC?
A Sub-MC is required if the development is too large and difficult to be managed by a single committee. It allows the creation of Limited Common Property (LCP) where only certain proprietors have exclusive usage towards it. This concept is particularly useful in mixed developments of the strata buildings for residential, commercial, and retail uses. Residents can only form a Sub-MC if the main MC is already in existence. The Sub-MC is run independently from the MC but requires one member of the MC needs to participate in the running of the Sub-MC.
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