Friday, 8 January 2021
The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) today announced that pursurant to Section 5(1) of the Property Management Services Ordinance (PMSO), two Codes of Conduct entitled “Complaint Handling Mechanism of Property Management Companies” and “Effective Control over Property Management Business by Property Management Companies” respectively are gazetted and take effect today.
Code of Conduct – “Complaint Handling Mechanism of Property Management Companies”
In order to allow the licensees of property management company (PMC) licence and property management practitioner (PMP) licence to handle property management services (PMS) related complaints more effectively, this Code of Conduct provides the following guidelines for complaints handling, including:
- Complaint procedures and systems,
- Appointing a person-in-charge to supervise the handling of complaints,
- Acknowledging receipt of and recording complaints,
- Handling complaints promptly,
- Notifying complainant of progress and result timely, and
- Proper record-keeping and providing complaint information.
Code of Conduct – “Effective Control over Property Management Business by Property Management Companies”
In order to improve the quality of PMS and optimise the management and operation of PMCs, this Code of Conduct provides guidelines in relation to controlling property management business, including:
- Establishing mechanism for effective control over business
- Establishing management team structure
- Setting out work guidelines
- Providing sufficient manpower
- Providing sufficient resources
- Providing appropriate training
- Effective monitoring
- Regular assessment
- Taking appropriate follow-up actions
- Keeping records, and
- Supervising sub-contractors
The purpose of formulating the Codes of Conduct is, on the one hand, to provide practical guidelines to enhance the professional standards of PMCs and PMPs, as well as to encourage the industry to provide the public with quality PMS; and, on the other hand, to regulate the work of licensed PMCs and PMPs more effectively, and set appropriate standards for handling complaints against PMCs and/or PMPs.
When the PMSA carries out investigation into complaints against a licensee, the licensee will not incur legal liabilities just because the licensee has contravened the provisions of a Code of Conduct. However, the Code of Conduct is admissible in evidence in disciplinary hearings, and proof that there is a contravention of the relevant Code of Conduct may be relied on for determining a matter which is the subject in the hearings.
Furthermore, to better facilitate the industry to comply with the Codes of Conduct, the PMSA also issues related Best Practice Guides which provide guidelines for compliance of the relevant Codes of Conduct that the industry can make reference to. It will not be regarded as committing a disciplinary offence if a licensee fails to comply with the Best Practice Guides; however, the PMSA encourages licensees to follow the good practices recommended in the Best Practice Guides so as to further enhance the professionalism of the licensee and improve the quality of providing PMS.
Mr Tony TSE, the PMSA Chairperson said, “The PMSA will continue to issue other Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides covering different property management areas. PMCs and PMPs are encouraged to follow and refer to the relevant codes and guides in their daily operation so as to enhance their professional standards and provide quality PMS to the public.”
For details regarding the Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides, please refer to the following PMSA webpage: https://www.pmsa.org.hk/en/regulatory/regulating-licensees/#reg-04.
The above codes and guidelines are formulated in consultation with the PM industry, owners’ organisations, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, as well as the Consumer Council, including the holding of a focus group discussion online on 4 December 2020 whereby views from over 20 representatives of 13 industry associations were collected. The feedback received from consultation has been appropriately reflected in the codes and guides.
The PMSA will issue other Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides covering different property management areas in order to provide guidance to the industry, including:
- Handling money received for clients,
- Obligations after the appointment of a property management company is terminated,
- Handling instrument of appointing a proxy regarding meetings of owners’ corporation / owners,
- Provision of prescribed information and financial documents to clients,
- Handling emergencies,
- Personal data protection,
- Managing scaffolding works to be carried out at a property,
- Carrying out procurement for clients, and
- Managing distribution of promotional material at a property, etc.