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No maintenance fee? No maintenance loh…

Sometimes back, I wrote about how maintenance is key to a condo’s long term value. Here: Maintenance is key to secondary high-rise properties  In fact those owners of condos who did not pay the maintenance fees and think they can pay later when they sell their condos are VERY SELFISH and will be the ones causing their condos to lose its value, FAST.
A Singaporean colleague told me of his failed condo purchase. Nearly the whole development was bought by investors and nearly everyone of them chose NOT to pay maintenance fees because they were NOT staying there. Great way of killing that condo….This is why it is so important to know who are buying and also how to inspect these secondary / completed condos. 12 tips on inspecting condos
Before anyone suggests that high-rise is full of issues and that we are better off buying landed, well for owners who did not pay maintenance fees, the law is already updated sufficiently so that these defaulters could be brought to court. ‘How to make apartment owners cough up maintenance fees – FMT’ According to the House Buyers Association (HBA) honorary secretary general Chang Kim Loong, under the Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations (SMR), the management can publish the details of defaulters on the building’s notice board, deactivate electromagnetic access cards and suspend a defaulter from using common facilities.
A good friend shared with me about a high-rise she bought many months back. In the beginning, she was very happy with the offer from the developer which helped her save a over RM5,000 ringgit. The savings came from ‘Free Maintenance Fee for 24 months.’  Today however she shared with me that the maintenance at her high-rise development was really bad. The common areas were dirty. Rubbish bins were not cleared. The gym was not properly equipped and she does not feel secure with the security.
I asked how long more before she starts paying maintenance fee. She said slightly over 1 year more. I told her that many times, the maintenance fee would allow the development to maintain itself. However, if buyers are exempted, that means the money must come from the developers. In this case, if all the units have been sold, the payment from the developer into the management fund may be delayed. 🙂
Perhaps she could highlight this to the developer and tell them that without any actions, she would publicise the matter. Hopefully the developer care enough to take some immediate actions. Perhaps in this case, the developer could be brought to court for NOT paying the maintenance fees on behalf of those whom they waived the maintenance fees? Any lawyers do comment yeah on how to go about this. As for those still refusing to pay their maintenance fees, hopefully you are not brought to court soon.
written on 23 Aug 2017
Next suggested articles: Maintenance fees and sinking fund a stumbling block to condo

Property Investment always start with knowledge. Equip ourselves with more here.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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