BAY VIEW VILLAS MOST RECENT VISIT.....
After the JMB meeting on the 7th of February, the committee decided to have a series of unofficial meetings in KL to discuss the huge task of putting some order into the many pressing issues faced by the JMB and ultimately the long suffering paying owners of BVV. As a result of these get-togethers, we decided to make an appointment with the service-providers through Mr.Syem. Members of the BVV Community are advised to read the minutes of the JMB Meeting that took place on the 7th of February to fully comprehend the following sequence of events.
During the last JMB Meeting, on the 7th of February, 2009, the JMB discovered to its amazement large amounts of outstanding debts owed to the various service-providers and requested to meet each one of them personally. The following agenda was proposed and forwarded to Mr.Syem three days in advance.
24th February 2009
9.15 am: Meeting with permanent residents of BVV
9.45 am :Meeting with caretakers
11-1 pm : Ground inspection of BVV or as the Malaysian’s call “Turun Padang”
2.15 pm : Meeting with service providers such as security, cleaning, landscaping, rubbish collection, lift maintenance and pool maintenance managers with their latest statements of accounts.
3.00 pm: Meeting with the Insurance Provider
Our request to meet all the service providers was granted and to his credit, Mr.Syem contacted all of them and informed them of our impending visit.
The JMB was to be represented by the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer and a committee member Mr.KW Lee.
I arrived at BVV on the morning of the 24th of February at 8.30 am after an hour and a half journey from KL amidst a rainy day. Upon my arrival, I hurried to the Gents at the BVV pool area to relieve my often troublesome bladder. The lights were switched on despite a very quiet morning (or so I thought). Upon leaving the Gents, I noticed that the Ladies Toilet lights were on and decided to switch them off since I assumed nobody was in at that time of the day. All of a sudden, I heard a bang coming from the toilet. First, thinking that I may be hearing things, I just stood there momentarily and “oops”, a man appeared, rushing out of the Ladies, in a hurry. Upon asking him what he was doing there, he claimed that he was a long-term resident at SVV and used the Sauna at the BVV Ladies since it was in good condition compared with the others. Before I could ask him more questions, he hurried off..must have felt a little embarrassed.
At about 9.00 am, I met the President, Dr.Chong at the MVV Lobby carrying his take-away breakfast. A little later, we met two long-term owner residents of BVV, Mrs.Rooben and Mr.CK Lim. We were ushered into the meeting room by Mr.Syem when another committee member Mr.KW Lee joined us a little while later.
MEETING WITH THE RESIDENTS.
The JMB took down the particulars of the two long-term owner-residents of BVV and registered our sincere appreciation to them for taking the time and trouble to meet up with the committee and to share their experiences as regards to the living conditions at BVV. The committee hopes that more will write to us in the future to offer their views, experiences and expectations.
Mrs.Rooben lamented that since there were no fixed phone lines; internet access was a problem and enquired why some people had access to WIFI services which were not provided to them. Mr. Syem explained that Leisure Choice only provided this service to its own clients at SVV and MVV but advised that anyone who wants this service could approach him for further details and he would help them apply for it through him. Mr.CK Lim uses a satellite wireless system but complains that the reception is not quite up to the mark.
Both the long-term residents praised Syem for his kindness over the years but noted that security at BVV is still a major issue. Mr. CK Lim explained that there was a time when the lifts were vandalized and were not functioning for about two months and this caused unbearable pain and anguish as he and his wife live on the upper floors. He adds that during peak hours he has seen kids tampering with the lift buttons sometimes pressing all at once and such acts, he feels, are the major causes of lifts breaking down so often during peak periods. However, they agreed that over the last few months the lift upkeep has improved and Mr.Syem explained that there was now a new lift sub-contractor since July,2008 after being pressured many times by the residents and the JMB on the sorry state of the lifts.
As such, both agree that security and lift maintenance should be the main priorities for the JMB to look into. When asked about the condition of the swimming pool, Mrs.Rooben noticed that there were oily stains near the filter and felt that the swimming pool was not clean enough for them to take a dip. Both of them said that they hardly used the pool. When asked who they would contact in case of an emergency, they both pointed to Mr.Syem and were satisfied with the responses thus far. However when pressed further and asked if an emergency occurred at 2 am, for instance, they agreed that it would be difficult as they do not have the contact numbers of the security personnel at the main entrance. The JMB would like to take this opportunity to advise permanent residents to establish a network amongst them and seek the committee’s assistance in doing so, to make this place a safer place not only for themselves but also other short-term resident guests. Everyone staying at BVV must have emergency contact numbers which can be obtained from the management office.
MEETING WITH THE CARETAKERS
Our next meeting was with the caretakers and a total of three of them took the time and trouble to meet the JMB committee. They were Mdm Tan,Mrs.Lim and Mr.Andy. The President reiterated the importance of all caretakers to follow rules and regulations and to keep an eye on any mischief-makers amongst the guests that they bring in. They were also reminded that units under their care must be well maintained at all times and most importantly the owners under their care must pay all maintenance charges due to them promptly without fail or the JMB will be forced to take stern action and terminate their services. All caretakers are required to record the arrivals and departures of their respective clients in a log-book at the guard-house which will be revised from time to time to check its effectiveness. Mdm Tan complained that some of her potential clients had to be turned away several times because the water-supply at Block B was erratic. Mr.Syem explained that the bulk meter runs from 9am to 5pm and is sometimes switched off to conserve water due to the heavy leakages and a hefty water bill. Members of the BVV community should be informed that our water bill is almost twice our electricity bill and there is something definitely wrong somewhere. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the JMB will post another detailed report on the water issue later. At the same time the JMB feels that the switching off of taps from time to time is not a good solution and something solid should be done to identify the leakages and make necessary repairs. We feel that this issue was not tackled in a professional manner and it is the job of the property manager to do a thorough investigation and find the source of the leakages rather than giving some obscure reasons and excuses.
Many caretakers have admitted to ignoring calls to fill-in forms on behalf of their clients upon registration because they feel that their feedback is not taken seriously. Here, the President reminded them to discard their old habits or face the wrath of losing their business. The JMB also reiterated the need for the caretakers to be responsible since there had been stories that some of the units have housed more than 10 guests. Mr. Andy tells us his story that he has seen guests come in one car first, fill-in the forms and a little while later another party joins them and stays in the same unit undetected. For this reason, Mr.Andy suggests that the reception should be somewhere near the entrance to check guests and also to bring in new customers in a lively atmosphere. We must remember that Leisure Choice no longer services units at BVV.
MEETING WITH THE CONTRACTUAL SERVICE PROVIDERS.
Mr.Thina and Mr.Guna, representatives from Guardwell Security Services were present to give us some insight on the services rendered so far. Their services for placing a sole guard at the entrance and having a supervisor do his rounds from time to time cost around $3150 per month. They have been providing this service since September 2004. Throughout this period of time only one major incident occurred, that is, the theft of steel chains along the Bay Border. On investigating, they found that it was the work of one of the maintenance people and the culprit was detained and handed over to the police. When reminded that our area was vandalized on numerous occasions, he explained that this was due to the lack of manpower to guard the area as only one guard is utilized now and it was difficult to secure areas far from the guardhouse. Dr.Chong explained that there were many complaints that the guards were not up to the mark or missing from their posts and some were even caught napping on the job. The JMB expressed disappointment at the attitude of some guards who did not register the entry and exit of guests in a proper and systematic manner.
Mr.Thina also brought to our attention that since January 2008, his company has not received any payment for their services. Mr. Syem said that the credit notes were issued late and there were some checks waiting to be collected at his office. As of February 2009, BVV owes Guardwell a total of around $35,000 in outstanding fees for services rendered thus far. The JMB has requested another meeting with their manager, Mr.Dasnamurthy to keep him informed of the latest developments especially the new house rules which will be implemented soon.
MEETING WITH THE CLEANING, LANDSCAPING AND RUBBISH DISPOSAL SERVICE PROVIDER
Next to be interviewed was Mr.Elayakumar, the Assistant Manager of operations for Tenaga Bersih Sdn Bhd. He explained that there are presently 4 full-time cleaners with a specific duty-roster working at BVV from 9am to 5pm. Dr.Chong commended him on the good job done as far as cleaning was concerned but was not happy with the landscaping job as the plants do not look very lush and healthy. The monthly charges for the jobs are as follows:
CLEANING………………..$4400 PER MONTH
LANDSCAPING……….. $3000 PER MONTH
RUBBISH DISPOSAL…$400 PER MONTH
The total expenses incurred for the three jobs amounts to $7800 per month.
Mr. Elayakumar said that the last payment made to Tenaga Bersih was on the 31st of May,2008 and no payment was received by them since then. As of the end of January 2009. BVV owes his company an amount totaling $70,200.
MEETING WITH THE LIFT MAINTENANCE OPERATORS.
Our next interviewee was Mr.Poon Seng Lee who is the senior manager for Dover Elevators Sdn Bhd. Mr. Poon explained that his company has been working with BVV since September 2004 and sub-contracts the services to another company to do the job. However, due to the many complaints received , his company decided to terminate the first company’s services and promptly replaced it with a new sub-contractor in August 2008 and he claims that the quality of services rendered since then has been more satisfactory. He remarked that our lifts are getting older and more difficult to maintain as some of the spare-parts have become obsolete making it difficult to find spare parts or replacements. He said that MVV and SVV would be changing their existing lifts soon and some of the parts can be used from there for a fee. The cost of maintaining a lift is $550 per month which gives a total of $1650 per month (for the 3 blocks). As of today, he claims that BVV owes his company $53,318 in arrears. The JMB registered its disappointment over the shoddy maintenance the last few years and hopes that his company will do its utmost to maintain a high level of quality service in the future hoping that more of his staff will be on standby during peak periods and week-ends. The JMB has requested him to prepare a report for an assessment of the three lifts as an asset management exercise to find out what can be repaired/replaced..etc. Mr.Poh consented to our request and promised to get back to us in a fortnight with a detailed report.
MEETING WITH THE INSURANCE PROVIDER.
For those of you who are reading this report intently, you must be saddened and worried about all the bad news so far. The outstanding bills so far have been staggering but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Our friendly insurance man Mr. Stephen Low Kin Lai from Great Eastern was the next in the list of interviewees. Mr. Low has been the agent for BVV since 2004 and says that around 40% of the owners bought the policies for their individual units. The policy covers fire, public liability and burglary. When an incident happens, he will request for a police report after which an adjustor will give an assessment of the damage. All individual units are fully covered if premiums are paid but common areas are covered only for the ratio of premiums received. In the last JMB Meeting on the 7th of February, the JMB had repeatedly asked for an explanation as to why the accruals in the Balance Sheet Notes (item 10) showed that BVV owes an amount of about $100K. No explanation was offered then, except that they (insurance company) were kind enough to extend their services to us despite the shortfall.
When pushed that a policy becomes null and void after about 2 months due to non-payment, we were left in a lurch with no explanation and at that time the JMB requested to see the agent personally. Now that we have met Mr.Low, he agrees with our explanation and therefore we need not pay the money accrued as at end-2008. He promised to send us a report detailing the last 3 years debit notes and payment details. Here again. The JMB has expressed its disappointment with the Property Manager and KPMG for not being on top of the situation as they could have saved us all the anguish and disappointment.
The above-mentioned meetings were quite intense and as they ended at about 4.30 pm, the President, the Secretary and Committee Member Lee decided to do a walkabout at BVV. We noted a few things that may be of interest to all of you who belong to the BVV community. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words, we took a few photographs of the present condition of BVV and our next report will be specifically on the neglect shown by the maintenance managers.
Keep in touch with the community blogsite as we post you the latest developments and news. Meanwhile the JMB believes that things can only get better from now on after the dust settles. Please make some arrangement to pay off all outstanding maintenance charges as the committee would be going on a massive drive on cost-cutting measures to be implemented soon but without compromising on the necessary facilities such as security and lift maintenance. Have faith in the committee as we are doing our best with little or no resources.