Date
15 December 2017
Hong Kong government is soliciting public opinions on proposed changes to the Building Management Ordinance.
Hong Kong government is soliciting public opinions on proposed changes to the Building Management Ordinance.

Govt taking a fresh look at building management laws

Hong Kong’s Home Affairs Department is reviewing the Building Management Ordinance, taking a closer look at the framework under which owners are encouraged to organize themselves to discharge their building management responsibilities, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.

A three-month public consultation is underway to solicit opinions, among other things, on a proposal to reduce the threshold for dismissing a building management firm to 30 percent of eligible attendees in an owners’ corporation meeting, from 50 percent, the report said.

The review and consultation is aimed at addressing concerns raised by the public in recent years, including disputes arising from large-scale maintenance projects, use of proxies at owners’ corporation meetings, appointment and remuneration of deed of mutual covenant managers.

The department is following up 27 complaints related to large-scale maintenance projects. Many have stemmed from misunderstanding and a low level of transparency of some owners’ corporations.

The consultation paper also suggests an extension of the notice period of owners’ corporation meetings to 21 days from 14 days. 

A quorum of 20 percent, rather than 10 percent, is required at owners’ corporation meeting for the approval of large-scale maintenance projects, according to the proposed rules.

Vincent Ho, senior vice president of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, said it may not be viable to raise the quorum. Also, it is not an effective way to solve the problem of manipulation in the process of tendering projects, he said.

Anti Bid-Rigging Alliance spokesman Lam Cheuk-ting, meanwhile, said the suggestions are in the right direction. However, it takes disciplinary actions on offenders to truly resolve the situation, he said.

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VW/JP/RC

Freelance journalist

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