An open letter to Zuraida Kamaruddin — Mohd Rafick Khan

MARCH 1 —Yesterday was the last day to pay the quit rent to MPAJ. It has always been a dilemma to me as an owner of one landed property as well as the owner of a unit of condo. While having a landed property, I am not subject to any maintenance charges, the same cannot be said about a condo. Maintenance Charges and Sinking Fund Charges (Collectively known as MF) are on the rise. For places like Ampang, where these are derived from the share portion of the unit, the total commitment can be anything from RM200 to RM600 per month. This is a burden for apartment/condo owners.

While we pay the same quit rent rate as per landed property, the services provided by the local authority are not the same. For landed properties, local authorities provide garbage collection, landscaping, grass cutting of common areas, repairs of the drainage system, maintenance of playground, resurfacing of roads and provide infrastructure upgrades (road curbs, humps, bollards etc) that relate to safety matters. However, for condo owners, other than garbage collection, which is done by local authorities, the other maintenance is done by the management using the contribution of parcel owners. This disparity of service with a common quit rent structure needs to be rectified.

While the quit rent formula and amount is governed under the Town and Country Planning Act and we can understand the regulatory  limitations in having different sets of quit rent rate for landed and strata residences, nothing under the law stops local authorities from providing parity services to condo/apartments as what is provided to the landed properties. With the parity of services provided by local authorities, the condo/apartment management can impose a lower MF service as most of the services are taken over by local authorities.

We understand that any works related to the building per se and security-related infrastructure would be the responsibility of the management but nothing stops the local authority from assuming the responsibilities of doing internal road resurfacing, landscaping, grass cutting, drainage repairs and much more that is done for landed properties. The request is only fair and reasonable because as we the condo and apartment owners pay a common quit rent rate as per landed properties. As such the local authorities must provide the same services that it provided to the landed housing areas.

This is a long overdue matter which the local authorities are reluctant to address. I urge Zuraida Kamarudin, as minister of housing, as well as MP of Ampang to look into this matter and initiate the necessary process towards implementation of one quit rent rate and one service. Let us be fair to all.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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