With all such facilities that are being promised and having spent hundreds of thousands of ringgit (or even a couple of million), some housebuyers / residents are greeted with nightmares instead. Security is lax. Littering and graffitis aplenty. Management companies are blamed. Residents are blamed.
But really, are we Malaysians actually ready for communal living? Let me share my personal experience.
I bought a medium cost apartment back in 2001 which comes with simple facilities like a gymnasium, swimming pool, common room (for functions) and intercom system. Of course, security guards as engaged to provide security for the apartment. Having enquired on the estimated Management Fee which will be imposed once I move in, I signed the Sale & Purchase Agreement as well as the Deed of Mutual Covenants. My wife and I waited for 3 years with full anticipation. It is our very first home.
We got our keys in 2004 and quickly moved in. We paid our Management Fee promptly and stuck by the House Rules. But then we realised that many were not following the House Rules. Cars were parked indiscriminately. Some residents parked at my car park lot which was allocated to me as per the Sale & Purchase Agreement. Some residents park their second cars in the Visitor's Bay and hoodwinked the security guards that they are visitors. Some residents start displaying "For Sale / To Let" signs outside their balconies or windows though the House Rules strictly prohibits it. Some residents hang their carpets / blankets / towels over the balconies to display their laundry for all to see. Some residents throw their kitchen waste in the trash bins (which is meant for cigarettes and stuffs like sweet wrappers) placed at lift landings as they probably deem it too much of a trouble to walk to the rubbish bins on the ground floor. Some residents like to swim in their full attire - jeans and t-shirts included.
Things were seriously not as rosy as what the phamplets depicted. It is beginning to become a nightmare and the threat of the property losing its value seems real indeed. At the instance of a few like-minded residents, a Resident's Meeting was called after notices were put up at the Notice Boards. Less than 50 turned up and much noise was made. A Resident's Committee was set up. I was appointed the Secretary.
Having had a few meetings with the Management Office, I realised that some Malaysians are just not ready for communal living. I found out recently that one of the biggest culprit is our very own Resident's Committee Chairman who has not been paying his Management Fee for 2 years ever since he moved in!!! Another committee member has not been paying his water bill for about a year whilst another is fond of parking at someone else's car park which is covered as his allocated car park is uncovered.
Various excuses are given :-
You cannot expect Muslims to wear swimsuit to swim in the swimming pool as that will be "mendedahkan aurat". Haven't they heard of the full body swimsuits? Do they not realise that when they and other users of the pool who are wrongly attired cause the colours from their clothings to leach in the pool and thus, contaminate the pool and that they might be drinking the colouring from their clothes??
I paid the Management Fee. What is wrong with me throwing my rubbish (which includes fish bones and what nots) in the trash bins? The cleaners have to do their job anyway. Hello! You might as well ask the cleaners to clean your homes since you paid your precious Management Fees. Why don't you just place the rubbish outside your door and wait for the cleaners to take them away? Is it so smelly that you have to put them at the trash bins at the lift landings so that other residents and visitors can see what you had for dinner last night?
My carpark is uncovered. My carpark is too far. Nobody is using this carpark lot. Yeah, you might as well move into someone else's apartment which is nicer or nearer or unoccupied. Read your Sale & Purchase Agreement and you will see your allocated car park lot clearly designated. By using someone else's car park lot, you are trespassing. Just like an illegal squatter. You are no different from them.
This is my apartment. I can do what I want with it including hanging my laundry and advertisement the way I want. Do you read the House Rules? The drying area in the yard is specifically for drying your laundry and the Notice Board at the ground floor lobby is for advertisements. I do not pay thousands of ringgit to see your laundry and I do not see the practicality of having a teeny-weeny advertisement board placed on the high floors where people from the ground floor can't even read the telephone numbers in display.
I don't stay there. I don't use the gymnasium. I don't swim. Why should I pay the Maintenance Fees? Wah! This one really caps the tolerance limit. If that is the case, please at least pay up for the security rendered for your unit. Don't forget the cleaner's charges for sweeping the corridor outside your door as well as your car park lot.
The Maintenance Fee is too expensive. My friend's apartment only charge so much lesser. First of all, you should blame yourself for not asking about the charges to be incurred. Secondly, if it is too expensive, get into the Residents' Committee and demand an explanation of the charges and seek a reduction (as a committee) if it is manifestly unreasonable. Otherwise, please pack up and move to your friend's apartment.
Notices are put up on the Notice Board asking residents to register their phone numbers for the Intercom System so that visitors can be verified. Do you think all will be bothered to do so? No. They are either of the "tidak-apa" attitude or have a "I don't read Notice Board disease". This attitude and disease will swell to rage and fury at the security guards when something goes wrong such as car-break in or unsolicited salesmen knocking at the door. The security guards will be blamed for letting the people in without proper vetting. Hello! If you co-operate in the first place to have your phone number registered, we would be able to implement the Intercom System effectively.
Unless residents fully fulfill their obligations and remain blameless, they are not in a position to blame others including the Management Office. But then again, who will bother to take action and serve in a Residents' Committee for the benefit of all? Most of the time, those who make the most complaints and noise in a Residents' Meeting will be no where to be seen just before elections or nominations start.
Isn't this so so common?
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