The terms JMB, MC and sub-MC may sound completely alien, but it’s actually very important for you to take note of!
You see, more Malaysians have been living in high-rise developments compared to 20 years ago, as land becomes more scarce.
Today, apartments and condominiums are rapidly sprouting up, in a bid to keep up with the increased demand.
In such developments, notices from the Joint Management Body (JMB), Management Corporation (MC), or Joint Management Corporation (JMC) are often placed in common areas like the main notice board, lifts, and mailboxes.
Sometimes, these are even sent electronically. These notices keep residents updated on issues such as scheduled water cuts, lift maintenance, or mosquito fogging.
However, most high-rise dwellers may be unaware of the background work that goes into upkeeping a building.
For example, in Kuala Lumpur, JMBs work together with the area’s city hall, answering to the DBKL’s Commissioner of Building Division (COB).
In this article, we’ll demystify what JMBs and their associated legal bodies do.
What happens after a development is completed?
Upon the completion of a development, the developer will call for vacant possession.
It subsequently issues a notice to all unit owners to collect their keys within 14 days. After the 14 days, all unit owners are deemed to have collected their keys.
The developer is then required to call for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to form a JMB within a year from the end date of the 14 days notice.
JMBs will consist of 3 to 13 unit owners, as well as a representative from the developer. The committee then remains as a JMB until the strata title is issued by the land office.
What is a Joint Management Body?
With some developments consisting of hundreds of units, the JMB works with the developer to maintain the property before a proper handover can be carried out.
It can sometimes take the developer a long time to pursue the issuance of the strata title.
In such cases, the newly-formed JMB will continue to work with the developer to ensure proper documentation, payment schedules, accounting, and the upkeep of the property.
Apart from overseeing everyday operations like rubbish collection and cleanliness, the JMB also manages areas such as ensuring the community’s general safety.
Legally, JMBs in Malaysia can sue and be sued, although the law restricts the powers of the JMB.
For instance, a JMB is not permitted to sign contracts that binds the committee for a period exceeding 12 months.
The JMB has “perpetual succession”, which means that it’ll continue to exist and perform its duties until it’s dissolved. Once the JMB is dissolved, the MC/JMC takes over its role.
What is the MC and how is it different from the JMB?
The MC is sometimes referred to as the JMC. Before 2013, JMBs in Malaysia were governed by ACT 663, whereas MCs fell under ACT 318.
After 2013, both acts were consolidated into one: ACT 757. Both the JMBs and MCs are therefore governed under the same Malaysian law.
Basically, the JMB’s main purpose after a development’s completion is to carry out interim duties and straighten out all legalities in place of the MC.
The JMB shares (but does not have all) the powers held by the MC.
The issuance of the strata title is what differentiates the JMB from the MC. The JMB exists as a reference body before the issuance of the title, while the MC comes into the picture once the title is issued.
What is the role of the MC?
The JMC or MC exists as a corporate body. Once the AGM is held, committee members are officially voted in. The MC has the power to:
- Collect charges from owners of every unit within the development.
- Collect and allot contributions to the sinking fund.
- Allow for expenditure in its duty to maintain proper care of the buildings and common property.
- Exercise its power to recover owed charges from parcel owners in arrears in accordance to its rights under the Strata Management Act (SMA).
- Purchase or hire equipment, tools, and other required machinery to maintain the property and common areas.
- Hire/fire manpower and dispose of equipment for the maintenance and enhancement of the property.
- Enforce the law under the SMA.
- Take necessary actions to keep the common compound safe and clean.
- Impose house rules.
- Keep a register of all parcel owners.
- Prepare the Building Maintenance Fund, have it audited, and provide all unit owners with a financial statement.
What is a Sub-MC?
A Sub-MC is required if the development is too large and difficult to be managed by a single committee.
For example, a mixed development may comprise both residential buildings and a commercial space or sports club under one Master Title.
Residents can only form a Sub-MC if the main MC is already in existence. The Sub-MC runs rather independently from the MC, although one member from the MC needs to participate in the running of the Sub-MC.
Participating in JMBs and MCs
Malaysians appear generally happy with the property market compared to 5 years ago (according to research, of course!).
Condominiums and apartments have been popping up in many parts of Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur’s satellite cities like Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Cyberjaya, Puchong, Ampang, and Putrajaya.
If you’re staying in a condominium or apartment building in these satellite cities, do get to know who sits on the JMB or MC.
It’s a tough job even for someone familiar with the various legalities, let alone a normal resident of the building.
Rise to the occasion if your condominium or apartment committee calls for a meeting. Your participation, opinion, and vote will make a difference!