Date
15 December 2018
The Property Management Services Authority has launched a six-week public consultation on proposals for the licensing regime for property management firms and practitioners. Photo: HKEJ
The Property Management Services Authority has launched a six-week public consultation on proposals for the licensing regime for property management firms and practitioners. Photo: HKEJ

Why the PMSA remains a toothless tiger

Almost immediately after the Property Management Services Ordinance came into effect in December 2016, the Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) was set up to “regulate and control the provision of property management services by the licensing of property management companies and property management practitioners”, as its website says.

Nearly two years on, the PMSA has already received a total of 533 complaints from the public predominantly about the poor quality of service of their property management companies.

However, the authority is currently unable to fully handle these complaints.

That’s because proposals on the licensing regime for property management companies and property management practitioners are still being studied, according to PMSA chairman Tony Tse Wai-chuen, who is also a lawmaker representing the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency.

Last Wednesday the PMSA announced the launch of a six-week public consultation exercise on the matter.

And before the new law governing the licensing system is passed by the Legislative Council and the related code of practice officially issued, the PMSA admitted that will remain unable to handle such complaints.

Tse also said the PMSA currently only has about 10 staffers, and it is simply difficult for the authority to follow up on these complaints with such manpower.

Yet as the authority’s newly employed staffers are going to assume their new jobs gradually starting from next year, Tse said he believes the PMSA will become more proactive in the coming days.

However, Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who has been paying much attention to property management issues over the years, told us that the 533 complaints the PMSA has received, if anything, only represent the tip of the iceberg.

Lam said disputes over property management are taking place every day across our city, and he hopes the government can enhance oversight of the property management industry as soon as possible.

In the meantime, Tse said legislative proceedings over the introduction of a licensing regime on the property management industry are expected to be completed within next year.

Once the new law comes into force, the PMSA will have substantial legal grounds to regulate property management companies and their senior management staffers.

Meanwhile, Tse revealed to us that the PMSA would have a look and understand in detail some of the complaints. And if these complaints are well-founded, the authority will first urge the property management companies in question to improve their services.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 22

Translation by Alan Lee with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/CG

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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