We wrote about the notable changes to the recent guidelines in our earlier post. We waited for the approval and are now allowed to publish the latest guidelines. (Note that there may be an earlier version of the 18.5.2020 guidelines being circulated earlier which is superseded by this copy. The earlier version may have led to some confusion over the FAQ relating to short term rental accommodation but it has since been rectified)
The latest guideline (as received on 20.5.2020) can be downloaded below:
As usual, to promote clarity among occupants within a strata scheme and to assist property managers to manage the expectations of occupants / parcel owners / proprietors, we have again taken the liberty to translate them from Bahasa Malaysia to English.
We did provide our views as to whether it has force of law in our previous post and concluded they are mere guidelines. Notwithstanding that, we write to encourage a Developer / Joint Management Body / Management Corporation / Property Manager to adhere as much as possible, navigating through the respective strata schemes, depending on the nature, components, number of units and other relevant factors. The objective is and remains to curb the spread of Covid-19 and any lackadaisical compliance to it may have serious repercussion, especially if it leads to importing cases of Covid-19 to the strata scheme.
This is the time where a Developer / Joint Management Body / Management Corporation needs to work extra hard to draw up sufficient and clear policies / procedures to allow a property manager to apply them and ensure strict enforcement within the powers provided in the Strata Management Act and its Regulations.
The Guidelines in the form of FAQ are set out as below:
Sentences written in italised fonts are our own.
A. STRATA MANAGEMENT SECTOR
Q1. Can the planned AGM/EGM be convened in a strata scheme during the CMCO?
A1. No. All AGM/EGMs are to be postponed. (In the webminar conducted yesterday 19.5.2020, I then discuss the possibilities of whether to have a virtual meeting or hybrid meeting and I have dismissed them mainly on 2 grounds, the law does not allow it and no mechanism to identify voters, proxies, counting of votes by hand or poll etc)
Q2. Can the community in a stratified scheme move within the stratified area during the CMCO?
A2. Yes. But the Community should limit its movement within a stratified scheme and practise social distancing. Having said that, movement in conjunction to festivities and religious activities are subject to the directions and SOP issued by the Government.
Q3. Are the commercial premises within a stratified scheme allowed to open and operate like usual during the CMCO period?
A3. Yes. In general, all business premises within a strata scheme can operate subject to the approved activities. Premises which carry out prohibited activities as provided by the National Security Council are not allowed and should be shut. (Prohibited activities set out in the schedule can be seen in our previous post.)
Q4. Can a Developer / JMB / MC / Managing Agent / Property manager which manages a strata scheme be allowed to operate with a maximum workforce capacity and can a management office be opened to the public at large during CMCO?
A4. The management office can operate with a maximum workforce capacity and open to the public at large, subject to practising social distancing of 1 metre among the employees in the management office and further taking all necessary measures to curb Covid-19 during operational hours and dealings with its customers. Operation hours of the management office in a commercial strata scheme should follow the respective operational hours whereas a residential strata scheme is to operate from 8am to 5pm only.
Q5. Can common properties like hall, gymnasium, badminton court, swimming pool be allowed to rent out during CMCO?
A5. No. Notwithstanding that, only vehicle parking bays are allowed subject to the decision of the AGM/EGM of the management body. (this is however not the general rule and renting out of common facilities (including car parks) can be deliberated and approved within the Joint Management Committee / Management Committee)
Q6. Can renovation works within a strata scheme be carried out during CMCO period?
A6. Yes. All types of renovation works are allowed. Renovation matters will however require a written approval of the management in a strata scheme and the parcel owner / proprietor should make the necessary queries and checks with the local authorities to determine whether approval (of the local authorities) is also required, when necessary.
Q7. Is there a fixed duration of time given to a contractor in carrying out maintenance or renovation works?
A7. A contractor / vendor / worker is to carry out the works in accordance to the fixed duration of time as follows:
- commercial strata scheme (retail) – from 10pm to 9am, Mondays to Sundays including gazetted public holidays
- commercial strata scheme (office) – from 6pm to 9am, Mondays to Sundays including gazetted public holidays
- residential scheme – from 8am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays except gazetted public holdays. All works which generate loud noise like drilling works can only be undertaken between 9am to 1pm only.
The contractors are to also adhere to the SOP for construction sector issued by Ministry of Works.
Q8. Can the operations of the management of critical services within a strata scheme like water, electricity, security, cleanliness, maintenance of lift, pump system be continued to operate?
A8. Yes. operations mentioned above can be continued.
Q9. If there is damage for instance, incident of a leaked pipe, can works be carried out?
A9. Yes. Action can be taken to repair the damages.
Q10. I wish to move into an apartment, can I install air-conditioner, kitchen cabinet or undertake works to change the tiles?
A10. Yes. All installation works or hacking works are allowed subject to the written approval obtained from the management of a strata scheme.
Q11. Are visitors allowed to enter into a residential strata scheme like condominium / apartment?
A11. Visitors can enter into a strata scheme only if he/she has matters or dealings which are allowed set out below:
(a) an occupant being a senior citizen who stays alone who requires monitoring. Only immediate children or siblings of the occupant or caretaker are allowed to visit, when necessary;
(b) an occupant being a patient (not a patient of Covid-19 or any other diseases which require notification by virtue of Section 10 Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) or weak individual who requires frequent monitoring. Only immediate children or siblings of the occupant or caretaker are allowed to visit, when necessary;
(c) An occupant who requires instant medical intervention. Only immediate children or siblings of the occupant or medical practitioners are allowed to visit, if necessary.
(d) cases of death which do not involve Covid-19 or any other diseases requiring notification by virtue of Section 10 Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. Only immediate children or siblings or caretaker are allowed to visit, when necessary;
(e) providers of basic necessities to the occupant / resident who requires assistance from any individual, family or organisation on a condition that such provisions must be informed and prior approval obtained from the developer / JMB / MC or property manager;
(f) all contractors / vendors / workers / service providers / customers or any companies / bodies / individuals which deals with the management or parcel owners / proprietor are allowed to enter into a strata scheme for purposes allowed by the management. All are required to adhere to the procedures drawn up for visitors / service providers / contractors.
(g) for purposes of visiting during approved festivals by the Government, the number of visitors shall not exceed more than 20 persons in a day and not simultaneously (restricted to immediate family and first day of festival only). Number of visitors at any one time ought to be determined by the management depending on the size of residence whilst practising social distancing.
Q12. Are activities of short term rental accommodation like Airbnb or other similar platforms allowed to operate within the residential strata scheme during the MCO period?
A12. All short term rental accommodation activities like Airbnb will be allowed in a commercial strata scheme and landed strata only. The parcel owner or proprietor is to inform the management of a strata scheme of the presence of an occupant for purposes of contact tracing and sanitasation must be carried out before taking in an occupant. The occupant must adhere to the procedures drawn up by the management for visitors before entering into a strata scheme. (This appears to suggest a pure residential scheme cannot allow short term rental accommodation.)
Q13. What about post, courier and delivery persons (FoodPanda, Grabfood and etc)?
A13. All post personnel, delivery persons (FoodPanda, Grabfood and etc) are allowed to enter into a strata scheme only up to the security guardhouse / security counter) or a location determined by the Developer / JMB / MC / property manager after going through and passing the temperature check, and all post personnel can only enter into the mail box room. All delivery persons with body temperature of more than 37.5 degree Celsius are not allowed to deliver the goods.
Q14. Can an occupant take part in outdoor activities like exercising, jogging etc within a strata scheme?
A14. Yes. Occupant is allowed to take part in outdoor activities which do not involve team sports or physical contact. All prohibited activities prohibited by the National Security Council, like, sports which involve gathering of supporters, indoor games like gymnasium, activities in a swimming pool and contact sports like football and basketball are not allowed.
Q15. Can moving in and moving out be allowed?
A15. Moving in and moving out activities within a strata scheme is allowed. Occupant who is moving (in or out) is required to inform the date of such moving activity to the management. The number of movers allowed will subject to the approval of the management and they are to adhere to the procedures drawn up by the management for visitors / service providers.
Q16. My tenancy has expired and I am forced to move out. Can I be allowed to move out? If not, what can I do?
A16. Yes. A tenant whose tenancy has expired is allowed to move out. Only a tenant who has entered into tenancy agreement with a parcel owner / proprietor is allowed to move in to the strata scheme.
Q17. Can a management committee meeting within a strata scheme be convened during the CMCO?
A17. A management committee meeting which involves physical gathering is allowed on the condition of not more than 10 persons being present at the meeting venue whilst adhering social distancing (of 1 metre among committee members) and further to take all measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. Having said that, a management committee is encouraged to convene a virtual meeting through online teleconferencing.