Owners of properties will have signed a Deed of Mutual Covenants (DMC) when they purchased their properties from Glenmarie Cove Development Sdn Bhd (GCD). Under the Deed, purchasers shall observe the following covenants:
a) To contribute from time to time a fair and justifiable proportion of the cost and expense of the maintenance, upkeep and repair of the infrastructure, including the roads, driveways, drains, culverts, water mains and sewerage plants serving the precinct until they are taken over and maintained by the Appropriate Authority;
b) To contribute from time to time a fair and justifiable proportion of the cost and expense of services, including refuse collection, cleaning of public drains and grass cutting on the road reserves until such services are taken over by the Appropriate Authority; and
c) To pay for the security services provided by GCD at a rate determined by GCD at its absolute discretion from time to time and at any time.
That’s the easy part.
We know from the management of GCD that there are purchasers who have not been paying their dues, for whatever reason(s). The aggregate sum in default is mounting after each billing cycle and has reached six figures. I know of one land owner who has yet to build his home on his bungalow lot and feels it is absurd that he has to pay for security and maintenance services that he currently does not enjoy. Others may have withheld payments because the services are below par. I can certainly feel for this landowner because I too felt the same way when I received the bill the first time, almost 4 years before my moving here. This post does not deal with the merits of their justification for non-payment but I feel it is pertinent to discuss how defaulters are detrimental to those who have lived up to an agreement signed.
It is a zero-sum game – what is unpaid will have to be picked up by someone else unless GCD is so charitable an organization that it will absorb the uncollected charges. The default sum will have to be dealt with eventually and one way to do that is to build into the budget a contingency reserve for expenditure or costs that are not foreseen. We have no details from the management but I will not be the least surprised if we have already begun funding the defaulters through this inbuilt reserve.
Should we nip the bud? And how can we nip the bud? Please offer your suggestion so the Committee will have inkling what the residents would like management do to arrest the problem. I know this happens everywhere but I feel it is not fair that some could get away from their covenants to help upkeep this estate.
Here is one suggestion. Bar the access cards of defaulters so that they will have to get in and out via the visitors/contractors lane. They are not being denied access to their properties; they just do not go through the usual residents’ channel. After all, they are not paying for the security services and the boom gates are part of the security offering.
Finally, I feel there should be greater transparency from GCD in the way monies collected from residents are spent. In the DMC, it is provided that the apportionment of an appropriate contribution for parts (a) and (b) above are to be made by GCD or “any other competent person appointed by the Vendor (i.e. GCD)”. We have no idea if an independent person or organisation is appointed to inject fairness into the process.