Malacca condo-hotel residents win appeal against hotel management

Riviera Bay purchasers can finally put their chins up as judges at court of appeal on Wednesday ruled that their joint-management committee is legitimate in representing the purchasers and that the hotel management is not entitled to seize their operation.

Judges withdrew the injunction that was previously granted by the Malacca High Court to the hotel management in September to bar the JMC from functioning.

The judges also ordered the hotel management to pay RM25,000 as compensation to the JMC members.

With the verdict, the 9-member JMC can now return to the management office where they had been evicted since January this year.

Riviera Bay is located at Tanjung Kling fronting Straits of Malacca. It comprises of 550 units which a hotel owning 149 out of it.

The unit owners’ association chairlady Chua Sook Lan said the relationship between the purchasers and hotel management went sour since the hotel was taken over by Prestaharta in 2006.

Bad blood over common property

The conflicts surfaced when the Building and Common Property Act was tabled in 2007, which requires a joint management committee to be formed by the residents of any highland properties.

“The dispute began when JMC started working to define the common property of the place,” Chua said, adding that the common property areas should include swimming pool, tennis court and multipurpose rooms.

“However, Presta Harta claimed that all these belonged to them, though they never produced any sales and purchase proofs whenever we requested,” she added.

She said the hotel management began to impose charges whenever purchasers wish to utilize the facilities.


Electricity cut off

The strain escalated when the management purportedly evicted the JMC from their office and replaced them with a pro-hotel management JMC early this year, claimed Chua.

“But the illegal JMC had never been endorsed by the Commissioner of Building, unlike us,” she added.

As the tension embroiled with legal cases filed by both JMC and hotel management, the latter reacted by disconnecting electricity for 92 households since September 29.

“These 92 units are those who refused to pay them management fees. They are now living in dark every night. Some of them even have spoilt electricity boxes,” Chua claimed.

Following the victory yesterday, Chua said that JMC would make electricity reconnection their priority task.

The JMC members hoped that the management would not impose any other measures against the purchasers due to the latter’s setback in court.

The members are hopeful that they would also emerge victorious in another court case which will decide ownership of the common property, for which the hearing is scheduled soon.

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