The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) today announced that pursuant to Section 5(1) of the Property Management Services Ordinance (Cap. 626), two Codes of Conduct entitled “Handling Payment for or Arranging Payment to be Made by Clients” and “Provision of Prescribed Information and Financial Document to Clients” will be gazetted and take effect within this month. The repective Best Practice Guides have also been prepared in order to allow property management company (PMC) and property management practitioner (PMP) licensees to comply with the guidelines set out in the two Codes of Coduct more effectively and professionally.
“Handling Payment for or Arranging Payment to be Made by Clients” Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct stipulates that a licensed PMC has to establish a proper mechanism to handle payment for its clients or arrange payment to be made by its clients related to property management services, such as paying for all sorts of services provided by service providers. The Code covers the following aspects:
1. Establish proper mechanism for handling payment for clients or arranging payment to be made by clients;
2. Settle payment timely;
3. Verify information and documents relating to payment;
4. Open bank account;
5. Set authorization for payment;
6. Keep cheque books and related items properly;
7. Confirm receipt of payment;
8. Keep record; and
9. Check record.
This Code of Conduct and its respective Best Practice Guide were formulated in consultation with the property management industry, owners’ organisations, the Consumer Council, the Home Affairs Department, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The feedback collected from the consultation has been appropriately reflected in the Code and Guide.
The PMSA Chairperson Mr Tony TSE emphasized, “The PMSA is highly concerned about a recent case of suspected embezzlement of the funds of an owners’ corporation, and has promptly prepared the ‘Handling Payment for or Arranging Payment to be Made by Clients’ Code of Conduct and its respective Best Practice Guide in order to provide PMCs and PMPs with practical guidelines on using residents’ money to pay or arrange to make payments for property management services. The aforementioned Code and Guide as well as the ‘Handling Moneys Received on behalf of Clients by Property Management Companies’ Code of Conduct progmugated earlier complement each other to offer comprehensive guidelines for PMCs and PMPs on properly handling the moneys of clients with enhanced transparency in the management of property management finances in order to avoid disputes with and complaints from the residents as well as to minimise the risk of embezzlement.”
“Provision of Prescribed Information and Financial Document to Clients” Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct stipulates that a licensed PMC has to provide its clients with the prescribed information including information concerning conflict of interests between the PMC and its clients, information in contracts relating to the management of the concerned property, and information in other documents relating to property management that the PMSA may from time to time specify. The Code covers the following aspects:
1. Provide information concerning conflict of interests;
2. Provide information concerning contracts relating to property management;
3. Provide information concerning other documents relating to the management of the property that the PMSA may from time to time specify;
4. Inspect financial documents and provide copies; and
5. Inspect other financial documents.
This Code of Conduct and its respective Guide have appropriately reflected the feedback collected from the consultation with different stakeholders including property management industry, owners’ organisations, the Consumer Council and the ICAC, etc.
The PMSA Chairperson Mr Tony TSE said, “PMCs often enter into contracts with third-party service providers for the provision of property management services. Formulating the relevant Code and Guide aims to facilitate communication and understanding between the residents and PMCs, and enable the residents to be better informed about property management services provided for appropriate follow-up action to be taken.”
The two Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides can be downloaded from the following PMSA webpage:
The PMSA has already issued a total of 8 Codes of Conduct and the relevant Best Practice Guides, including “General Code of Conduct”, “Complaint Handling Mechanism of Property Management Companies”, “Effective Control over Property Management Business by Property Management Companies”, “Handling Moneys Received on behalf of Clients by Property Management Companies”, “Obligations of Property Management Companies regarding the Ending of their Appointment”, “Prevention of Corruption”, “Prescribed Conditions on Licences” and “Protection on Personal Data”, since the implementation of the property management industry licensing regime.
The PMSA will continue to issue other Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides timely, covering different property management areas in order to provide guidance to the industry, including but not limited to the following:
• Carrying out Procurement for Clients and Prevention of Bid-rigging;
• Prevention of Corruption – Financial Management;
• Prevention of Corruption – Monitoring Outsourced Property Management Services;
• Prevention of Corruption – Staff Recruitment and Management;
• Handling Emergencies;
• Scaffolding Works to be Carried Out at Property;
• Handling Instrument of Appointing a Proxy; and
• Mechanism of Distribution of Promotional Materials at Property
Ends/Monday, 3 January 2022
Issued at HKT 13:00