Can individual parcel owners enforce rights relating to common property on their own behalf?
SYARIKAT EAST COAST & ORS v. MAKNA MUJUR SDN BHD & ORS  2 MLRA 440
- Syarikat East Coast and others were the purchasers of shophouse units in the shopping centre known as KL Plaza, located at Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur (“Shophouse Owners”).
- The KL Plaza was redeveloped and renovated in 2010.
- The Shophouse Owners were not happy with how the renovation and redevelopment were carried out and alleged trespass and nuisance on the common property by the developer.
- Consequently, the Shophouse Owners commenced a case to compel the developer to restore some of the corridors in the building to their original state and for breach of statutory duty.
- The breach of statutory duty was that the Joint Management Corporation (“JMC”) on behalf of the Joint Management Body (“JMB”) had obtained the approval to commence the renovation works without calling for a general meeting.
- The High Court dismissed the Shophouse Owners’ claim and they appealed to the Court of Appeal.
COURT OF APPEAL DECISION – APPEAL DISMISSED!
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on the following basis:
- The approval given by the JMC, on behalf of the JMB, without calling for the general meeting, was perfectly valid and within the powers and duties under the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007 (“BCPA”) and hence, there was no breach of statutory duty;
- There was evidence to show that the Shophouse Owners, through members of the JMC who represented them, were informed of the purpose and plans of the renovation/redevelopment of KL Plaza and had unanimously supported and endorsed the renovation/redevelopment; and
- The Shophouse Owners did not have any right in law or equity to pursue their claims in respect of common property. By virtue of section 8 of the BCPA, the JMB had sole control on the management of the common property of KL Plaza.
- Any claims in relation to the common property could only be brought by the JMB and not the individual parcel owners or some of them together. It was for the JMB alone to pursue such claims for the benefit of all parcel owners.