Recently, crime occurrences, such as snatch thefts and break-ins, have the market demanding for properties within a gated/guarded community. While new developers usually provide safety assurance features for the residents, residents in older properties without these facilities have taken it upon themselves to organise some form of security within their community. Before setting up a security feature in your neighbourhood, it is worth knowing the differences between Gated Community (with strata title) and Guarded Neighbourhood (with individual title). The table below may provide some enlightenment on this topic.
What are the differences between Gated Community (GC) and Guarded Neighbourhood?
Gated Community (GC) can be defined as a group of residents who stay in a fenced up area and are being guarded either in a high-rise property or landed property governed by the Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA) and the Strata Titles Act 1985 (STA). Gated Community is a private property that is managed by the management committee of the Joint Management Body (“JMB”) or Management Corporation (“MC”) as established under the law.
Gated Communities’ criteria:-
- Minimum area under the scheme is 1 hectare and maximum is 10 hectares (200-500 house units)
- The roads and shared amenities inside the Gated Communities belong to the community, and managed by Management Corporation elected by the residents.
- Building of wall to separate the community from its neighbourhood is not allowed
- Social Impact Analysis needs to be undertaken prior to the establishment of Gated Communities.
- Need to have 2 entrances/exits (one for main use, another for emergency)
- Allowable perimeter fencing of height not more than 9 feets and at least 50% visible from outside
- Boom gate is not allowed
- Guard house measurement no exceeding 1.8m x 2.4m
- The houses cannot be more than 4 levels (18.5 meters) from
- Visitors' parking must be allocated
Guarded Neighbourhood (GN) can be defined as a guarded housing area that its land holding is an individual land title. The GN are usually setup by the residents and registered under Registrar of Society (ROS). Register with ROS is the first step that the residents and the communities in the guarded Neighbourhood must do. The GN are usually setup to address issues of crimes and theft, cleanliness, comfort and neighbourliness. RA has to fulfil aspects of not having physical barriers on public roads nor enforcing any blocked entrance-exit for the residents and the public.This is to comply with the section 46(1)(a) and (b) of the Street, Drainage, and Building Act 1974, provides that:
“(1) Any person who—
(a) builds, erects, sets up or maintains or permits to be built, erected or set up or maintained any wall, fence, rail, post or any accumulation of any substance, or other obstruction, in any public place;
(b) without the prior written permission of the local authority covers over or obstructs any open drain* or aqueduct along the side of any street…”
Guarded Neighbourhood’s criteria:-
- Only allowed in urban area
- Establishment of Guarded Neighbourhood needs to be proposed by Residents Association and supported by majority of the residents
- Allowable Guard house measurement must not exceed 1.8m x 2.4m.
- Manual boom gate with 24 hours security control can be considered
- Appointed security guards must be registered with the Ministry of
Source : Federal Department of Town and Country Planning (2010)
Are there any fees charged to the residents for both gated and guarded neighbourhoods?
For GC under strata, it’s a must for the residents to pay maintenance fees and sinking funds. The fees being charged to Gated Communities are calculated based on the size of the land parcel. Residents living in a larger size of the land parcel are being charged higher as compared to those living in a smaller size of the land parcel. These fees are required for maintenance of the common facilities of the Gated Community under the Strata Title.
Meanwhile, the Guarded Neighbourhood scheme that is usually initiated by the Residents’ Associations (RA), typically charges the residents for the security fees only. Usually the committees of the RA will engage with the security firm and the fees would be depending on how comprehensive the security services are. If the charges are low, most probably the security services hired by the Residents’ Association are pretty basic.
However, the residents are not obligatory to pay for the fees and the Residents’ Association cannot force the residents to pay for the fees as it is not empowered by the law. The most that an RA could do is to put up a big banner to encourage payment, or grant stickers to differentiate residents who make payment and not making payment.
However, there are other factors influencing the payment behaviour of the residents such as, the residents do not know the exact amount of the bills or they lost the bills.
Hence, it’s important for the MC or RA to ensure the residents pay on time so that both MC or RA do not run under insufficient funds to maintain the facilities and security services. Having a residential management system for the admins of the JMB and RA could ensure residents to be more vigilant on their outstanding payment as they can use a Residential Community App to view their latest bills and make the payment. For example, the residents can use lived-in Residential Community System to ease the manual process of the residents and the admins.
lived-in Residential Community Solutions are made especially for Residents' Association (RA) or Persatuan Penduduk. It helps to bridge the gap between residents and admins. Admins can manage their residents through the lived-in Admin Dashboard, meanwhile the residents will have to login to lived-in Community App to view their bills , make payment or get notified with latest news.
More information about lived-in can be clicked here