Dispute in relation to inter-floor leakage is commonly faced by residents in high rise building. It occurs where there is any evidence of dampness, moisture or water penetration or any furnishing material attached, glued, laid or applied to your unit’s ceiling.
In dealing with inter-floor leakage, cooperation from other party is required as it originates from the unit above and you as the owner of the affected unit will not have immediate access to carry out repairs and may cause you to suffer massive damage. Hence, this issue poses a big headache if you meet an uncooperative and aggrieved neighbour.
The Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015 recognises problems associated with inter-floor leakage and therefore provides procedures and timelines for the relevant parties to overcome this issue. The standard operation procedures when such issue arise shall be as follows:-
issue notice in respect of the inter-floor leakage to the Management, including Developer, Joint Management Body, Management Corporation, Subsidiary Management Corporation or Managing Agent (whichever is applicable);
as soon as practically possible or within 7 days from the date of receipt of the notice, Management will carry out an inspection of the affected unit to determine the cause of the leakage and party responsible to rectify;
management will issue a certificate of inspection (Form 28) to state the cause of the inter-floor leakage within 5 days from the date of inspection. Any person who is not satisfied with the management’s decision may refer the matter to the Commissioner of Buildings (COB). The COB shall determine the cause of the leakage and the party responsible to rectify it. The COB may also appoint a registered architect, registered engineer, registered quantity surveyor or a registered building surveyor to assist him in such determination and the cost of such appointment shall be borne by the party responsible to rectify the inter-floor leakage;
the responsible party (as determined by the Management or the COB) shall take all necessary steps and measures to rectify and make good the leakage within 7 days of receipt of Form 28, failing which, the Management shall rectify such leakage and charge all costs and expenses from the responsible party;
the party responsible for carrying out the inspection or rectification works is conferred a right of access to the affected parcel on 7 days written notice. The responsible party failing or refusing to grant such access or do not cooperate in the investigation and rectification in due time shall on conviction, be liable to a fine of not exceeding RM50,000.00 and/or 3 years imprisonment.
Further to clause 5 above, failure of the responsible party to rectify the defect may constitute negligence entitling the affected owner to commence a civil proceeding in court against him for remedies such as damages.
In short, the owners in high rise building that suffer from the inter-floor leakage are therefore empowered under the Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015 with the right to demand for specific actions to be taken within the stipulated timeframe from the respective parties.