Residents should have received by now the bill from GCD for their provision of security and maintenance services to GC property owners/residents for the month of April 2015. Many residents will probably be surprised by the split between security and maintenance. In the case of a bungalow, the maintenance charge is RM214 per month (from memory of this bill) while security is RM90 per month. I am told the camparative figures for a semi-detached unit are RM148 and RM90, respectively. The feeling on the ground is security performance is satisfactory while maintenance services suck. Thus the split performed by GCD will rankle quite a number of residents.
Another surprise to some residents will be the inclusion of the 6% GST (Government Says Thanks). I think there is little to be excited here because based on what I have read, the exemption from GST refers to properties under the Strata Title Act. For the avoidance of any doubt, Glenmarie Cove is not a gated and guarded community within the meaning of the Strata Title Act. Perhaps the government will have a rethink and all properties that are , in essence, a gated and guarded community shall be exempted from GST.
When I moved into GC in July 2011, the split between security and maitenance was 50/50. Then, throughout the years 2012 and 2013, the bill came as a lump sum. The GCROA Committee decided that there must be more transparency from GCD (and there are some provisions in the Deed of Mutual Covenants (DMC) on the way GCD shall play ball) and the discussions between GCROA and GCD culminated in a budget which will be the basis for the new charges that came into force on Ist January, 2014. The budget was intended to be a living thing with regular reviews of the actual expenditure against the budget so that ups and downs can be adjusted as appropriate. Alas, GCD has not presented the Committee with a proper set of financials that can facilitate a proper review.
In the budget that I have mentioned above, the total monthly expenditure was RM103,000 with security accounting for RM53,000 of this total, or 51%. With more truncheon power added by GCD, the actual monthly bill is now around RM75,000, moving the security part to perhaps 65-70 percent of the total. Therefore rendering a bill which says security is a-third of the total and so far removed from reality makes no sense.
GCD warns that late payments shall incur interest under the terms in the DMC. By the same token, we need to remind GCD that under the DMC, every invoice for the charges shall be accompanied by a statement of how the money is to be spent. The budget and regular reviews thereafter would have met the provisions in the DMC. This new bill has just been sprung on the community without any consultation with the GCROA Committee. It is wholly outside the spirit of the DMC and breaks the consultative platform we have worked for. Not to mention how we were sunk last year.
In my humble opinion, as a truck driver, the April 2015 bill is not a proper invoice under the terms of the DMC and we should not pay it until the flaw is addressed. There is also the “Withholding Payment” action called by the Committee at the behest of members of the GCROA in a general meeting. I shall wait for the dust to settle. Good luck to the Committee.