Steps To Deal With Inter-Floor Leakage

There are many reasons that stop people from moving to high-rise residential, and one of the tops is inter-floor leakage issues.

According to Regulations 55 to 67 of the Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015, an inter-floor leakage occurs where there is evidence of dampness, moisture or water penetration on the ceiling or any furnishing material that is attached, glued, laid or applied to the ceiling such as plaster, panel and gypsum board, which forms part of the interior of a parcel, accessory parcel or common property.  

The question is, who would be responsible when inter-floor leakage happened in your unit? You yourself or the neighbor? Or the Joint Management Body (JMB) or Management Corporation (MC)? As technically, the wall in between two units is part of the common properties, which falls under the JMB or MC and the building management office’s responsibility.

Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to the questions. It solely depends on when and where the leaking issue happened. Regardless of who is responsible for the water leaking issue that happened in your unit, below are the steps to tackle the problem.

Step 1:
Report to the management office as soon as possible.

Step 2:
The management office to conduct inspection to determine the cause of leakage and party responsible to rectify the defect that has caused the leakage.

Step 3:
The management will issue a Certificate of Inspection (Form 28) within five days. The form describes the cause of leakage and party responsible to rectify the leakage.

Scenario 1:
If the leakage is caused by a defective workmanship within defect liability period, the unit owner can claim against the developer pursuant to the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA).

Scenario 2:
If the leakage is caused by another unit, the owner of that unit shall take all necessary steps and measures to rectify the leakage within seven days of receipt of Form 28. If they fail to do so, the management office can rectify the leakage and charge all costs from the party responsible to rectify.

Scenario 3:
If the leakage is caused by common property, such as the exterior wall of the building, the management shall take all necessary steps to rectify the leakage within seven days of issuance of Form 28.

Any person who is not satisfied with any decision made against the management office after inspection, he or she may refer to the Commissioner of Building (COB), who shall determine the cause of the leakage and the party responsible to rectify it.

You may wonder if all parcel owners must allow access to the management office to carry out the inspection or rectification. The answer is yes, provided seven days written notice is given to the owner or occupier.

According to the Strata Management Act, any parcel owner or occupier who fails to give access to the affected parcel to carry out inter-floor leakage inspection or rectification, he or she is committing an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.

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