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Top 6 Popular Strata Management Tribunal Frequently Asked Questions

Strata Management Tribunal or Tribunal Pengurusan Strata is under Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government or Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaaan Tempatan, Malaysia. The Strata Management Tribunal (SMT) is the legally recognized body that handles any disputes related to strata management. Its jurisdiction was established under Section 107 of the Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA) but does not extend to any claims related to disputes over ownership.

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Strata Management Tribunal FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who can make a claim to Strata Management Tribunal?
  2. What cases can be brought to Strata Management Tribunal?
  3. What awards and penalties can the Strata Management Tribunal impose?
  4. What happens if you ignore the Tribunal’s Order?
  5. Can a party be represented by lawyers in the hearing before the Tribunal?
  6. Who can challenge the Strata Management Tribunal award

Who can make a claim to Strata Management Tribunal?

Developer, Purchaser, Proprietor, Joint Management Body (JMB), Management Corporation (MC), Subsidiary Management Committee (Sub-MC), Managing Agent and relevant parties who has special permission granted by the Tribunal.

However, it is also important to know the difference between a purchaser and a proprietor. This distinction between the two comes into play when the strata title for the property has not been issued yet. When an official strata title for the property is issued, a proprietor becomes the property owner . A purchaser merely owns an interest in a particular unit, as it is still being held under the master title. In this circumstance, the proprietor is the developer or landowner.

What cases can be brought to Strata Management Tribunal?

All disputes can be handled at minimum expenditure as no legal representation is allowed. This eliminates high legal costs. It also has cheaper filing fees compared to a court proceeding. However SMT has a pecuniary jurisdiction not exceeding RM250,000.00.
The SMT’s jurisdiction does not extend to any claims related to disputes of ownership. However, the cases that it can handle include:

Disputes over failure to perform a function, duty or power imposed by Strata Management Act 2013.
Disputes over costs or repairs of a defect.
Claims for the recovery of charges, contribution to the sinking fund or any debts.
Claims for an order to convene a general meeting, invalidate proceedings of a meeting or nullify a resolution on matters decided in a general meeting.
Claims to compel the supply of information or documents.
Claims for an order to give consent to effect alterations to common property or limited common property.
Claims for an order to affirm, vary or revoke a decision of the Commissioner of Buildings.
Every party will be entitled to attend and be heard at the hearing of a claim. All proceedings of the SMT will be open to the public.

What awards and penalties can the Strata Management Tribunal impose?

Each award made by the SMT must be accompanied by the relevant grounds for the decision. Each award must be made within 60 days of the first day of the hearing. Among the awards it can confer include:
Order a party to pay or refund sums of money, damage or compensation.
Order a party to pay interest of no more than 8% per annum on a monetary award.
Dismiss a frivolous or vexatious claim.
Impose additional ancillary orders or relief as is necessary to effect any other order made by the SMT.
Vary or set aside a contract or additional by laws, excepting those set down as of June 1, 2015, which prevail over any additional and inconsistent by laws or in house rules.
The tribunal also has the power to impose the following penalties. A fine up To RM250,000, imprisonment up to 3 years or simultaneous fine and imprisonment.

What happens if you ignore the Strata Management Tribunal’s order?

The tribunal can act on anyone who does not comply with its order, as stated under Section 123 of the SMA 2013. The penalties include the following:
First offence. A fine not exceeding RM250,000; OR imprisonment not exceeding three years; OR both.
Continuing offence. A further fine not exceeding RM5,000 per day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.

Can a party be represented by lawyers in the hearing before the Tribunal?

No party can be represented by a lawyer unless the matter in the opinion of the Tribunal involves complex issues of law and one party will suffer severe financial hardship if he is not represented by a lawyer. If one party is allowed to be represented by a lawyer, the other party would similarly be entitled also.

Who can challenge the Strata Management Tribunal award?

Any party to the proceedings of SMT may apply to the High Court challenging to have an award in the proceedings overturned if there is a severe irregularity that affects the awards. If there is shown to be serious irregularity affecting the award, the High Court may remit the award to the SMT for reconsideration or set the award aside.

According to data from the Housing and Strata Management Tribunal (TPPS), there were 4,964 complaints forwarded to the SMT in 2018, a significant rise compared to 2,642 complaints filed in 2016. Most cases brought to the hearings were related to the collection of maintenance fees. However, the average rate of resolutions dropped from 96.7% in 2017 to 92.35% in 2018. The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) is trying to resolve this issue by appointing more Presidents to head the tribunals.

You can read more in our Blog page and connect with us at Asiacap FB Page. Learn more information about Property in Malaysia. If you have any other questions regarding strata management, you may like to drop us your contacts or Whatsapps us and we’ll be in touch.

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