Strata is one of those words you would never hear about until you’re researching about trying to buy a house here in Malaysia. And quite honestly, until a few decades ago, the term “strata” was foreign to a lot of people. Today, it has become something very common for anyone who is looking to purchase their homes.
Before we go on, what is the meaning of “strata”?
- It was introduced legally in 1985 in response of the increase of multi-storey housing.
- It serves to provide clearer provisions of the management of stratified properties in Malaysia. This includes commercial, residential and developments that are a mixture of both types of developments.
A strata property or title allows you as the buyer ownership or co-ownership of part of a strata property. This basically means that you are allowed to buy a piece of the parcel of development. This means that you can own the space of your apartment but not the whole building. These are considered property parcels and are usually managed by a management body.
So how is this different from a normal individual title?
A strata title is usually made for multi-storey building properties and an individual title is usually used for those that have landed property. Strata titles will be divided into different units in a development that share common facilities and features.
A good example would also be an office complex that is sitting on a piece of land. If you purchase an office lot, that would be a strata title ownership. A fun fact is that your property developers are actually required to apply for strata buyers if you become a buyer.
So what are your rights as a strata property owner
#1 You can vote during General Meeting
- There will always be annual general meetings that happen everywhere and you will be able to vote in these meetings.
- You will get to choose the board of members and property owner representatives.
- You will also be able to know about how the finances are doing.
- You get to vote on things like what kind of security plans you want to have if your building allows for pets or not.
- Be able to speak up to management and change things that you want to in a vote.
#2 You have the right to file claims under the Strata Management Tribunal
- If you are a strata owner, you will be protected under the Strata Management Tribunal.
- The tribunal will be able to help you with any disputes related to your strata management.
- It can be dealt with cheaply because there is no need for legal representation.
- But the maximum you can claim for is RM 250,000 and they will not be able to entertain a case where more than RM 250,000 is involved.
#3 You have the right to request to review Maintenance Fees and the Sinking Fund
- These Maintenance fees are the monthly payment you for the upkeep of common facilities like the lift, the gym and even that lovely jacuzzi.
- The Sinking funds cover all future capital expenses. This includes things like refurbishing the building, repairing issues and repainting exteriors. These funds will be collected as a pool for these big-ticket items in the future.
At the end of the day, purchasing a property is hard and confusing most of the time. So knowing your rights is really important. If you don’t you might not be able to keep up with your home if these things happen in the future.
It’s also a great way to check on the management of your property and ensure that your rights are being taken care of.
Are there any more rights of a strata owner that you think we left out? Let us know and do check out our services ;)
Written by: Tashya Viknesh