“The developer should not wash his hands after completing the project. During our site visits, we saw that strata property owners and residents want the developer who did a good job in maintaining their property to stay on and continue running the building even after the Joint Management Body (JMB) period.”

“If the developer is willing to stay on to manage the project, it is a sign of good buy.”

According to Chris in the EdgeProp.my virtual fireside chat on 9 July 2020, after having chosen the ‘right’ product, up-keeping and maintaining it is just a critical to protect the value of the property.

“For the same price, people will pick and choose the best ones. Hence if you keep your own property well, neat, clean with less wear and tear, it is very likely, a prospective buyer will choose your unit over the others”

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Going Back to Basics

“When you are buying a strata property, you need to pay the maintenance fee and sinking fund contribution regardless whether you use them or not.”

“The question to ask going forward post MCO is, do we need all those fancy facilities that we hardly use but still have to pay to maintain them? Fancy facilities or lifestyle facilities used to be the main selling points of a condominium for example but in the future, the selling points could be larger lifts, more open spaces to allow for social distancing”

Chris added that with cost being a concern as the economy has been hit by the pandemic, new home buyers may prefer properties with low maintenance charges hence basic and functional facilities will be more in demand then so-called lifestyle facilities.

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Location is Less Relevant

Chris also believes that the traditional mantra for property investment ‘location, location, location’ may no longer be ass relevant going forward

“To me, location has become slightly less relevant after the pandemic. I am not saying that it has become totally not important, but proximity now is no longer defined based on physical distance but on digital access. We are entering new normal. We used to want to stay near our place of work or have the convenience of public transport like LRT and MRT but now after the MCO, we have more options as to how and where we want to work.”

“Even if the pandemic is over and we are back to normal, it is a normal with more choices because you can now have a choice of working from home or wherever you are as long as you have web access, for instance.”

Chris opined that the ‘old normal’ was when people had to travel to work. “Right now, people are working in the best location possible which is in their homes. Location used to weight so heavily in a property buyer’s consideration, but it now weighs lighter.” Chris said, adding that internet access may be a more important factor to look at.

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Is your property healthy?

Chris noted that a property may not be perfect but it must be manageable and offered a tip to prospective strata property buyers – request to view a copy of the project’s latest Annual General Meeting (AGM) minutes.

“Ask the owner or seller for a copy of the AGM minutes. There is no law saying that AGM minutes cannot be disclosed. If he cannot give it to you, it is already a sign that something is not right with the property.”

“The minutes are like the property’s medical record. You can find out a lot of things from the minutes from the issues raised in the meeting.”

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Defects after the DLP

Is a developer still liable to rectify defects that appear way after the defects liable to rectify defects that appear way after the defects liability period (DLP)?

“The DLP is not a deadline to claim for defects and hence the answer is YES.”

“If someone did something wrongly, it is still wrong even after the DLP. As long as you can prove that it is a defect and not wear and tear, and it can be traced back to the party that caused this defect, you can still sumit a claim. It may take longer because after the DLP, there is no retention fund for such rectifications anymore so the developer will take a longer time to do so.”

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