In Personam: Building A Life Building A Life | In Personam

In Personam

by Choo Dee Wei
Published April 8, 2015

Building A Life

An examination of the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007.

As a young working adult living on your own, it is likely that you are currently residing in a condominium or apartment. Exciting times indeed. The freedom. The feeling of independence. To do as you please like prancing and singing along to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and Blank Space.

Whilst you absorb, revel and experience this new phase in life, here are some interesting aspects about your condominium or apartment. You may have noted something called the JMC or the Joint Management Committee either in letters or on the notice boards.

Think of the JMC as a board of directors and the owners of each and every unit in your condominium or apartment as shareholders. In this case, each and every unit owner make up the Joint Management Body (“JMB”) of that said condominium or apartment.

It would certainly be interesting if the Body and Committee could bear cooler names. However, these terms have been prescribed in the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007.

So how does the JMB elect the JMC? The JMB shall call annual general meetings once every year and not more than 15 months shall pass between one annual general meeting and the next. It is at the annual general meeting that the JMB would then elect members of the JMC. Each JMC shall consist of the developer and not less than 5 and not more than 12 purchasers.

Within those elected into the JMC, they will elect a chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The JMC will hold meetings to discuss matters or issues pertaining to the apartment or condominium and perform the JMB’s duties and business.

You may ask “what has this JMB or JMC to do with me?” When you are back at your apartment or condominium today, take a look around your surroundings. Are there security guards present? Are the premises clean? Are the lifts in working condition? Are your common areas like playground and swimming pool clean and safe? The common thread through all these questions is that it comes within the purview of the JMC. Whilst the day to day management of your apartment or condominium is by the management office, the staff are accountable to the JMC.

You may then ask “who is paying for all of this?” The simple answer: you are. If you are an owner, you will be paying into the Building Maintenance Fund as well as the Sinking Fund. If you are a tenant, it’s likely that your landlord is paying for it.

If you are dissatisfied with, for example, the level of security in your apartment or condominium, the first port of call would be the management office. If there is no positive resolution, request to attend the JMC’s meetings in order for you to ventilate your problems. If that fails, you could write to the developer or the Commissioner of Buildings.

The apartment or condominium that you are currently residing in is somewhat like a club with facilities. Just like a club, it has its house rules. If ever, you wish to know what you can or cannot do, request for a copy of the house rules from your management office.

For more information on JMB and JMC, you can refer to the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007. Do bear in mind that this Act will be repealed by the Strata Management Act 2013 at a date which has yet to be announced.