The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) today announced that pursuant to Section 5(1) of the Property Management Services Ordinance (PMSO), two Codes of Conduct entitled “Handling Moneys Received on Behalf of Clients by Property Management Companies” and “Obligations of Property Management Companies Regarding the Ending of their Appointment” will be gazetted and take effect tomorrow (7 May 2021).
Code of Conduct – “Handling Moneys Received on Behalf of Clients by Property Management Companies”
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to require a licensed property management company (PMC) to establish a proper mechanism for handling moneys received for various daily transactions on behalf of their clients to whom they provide property management (PM) services, including the collection of management fees from property owners and the settlement of various fees in respect of service providers.
Mr Tony TSE, the PMSA Chairperson said, “Misunderstandings and disputes between PMC and owners / residents often occur, arising from the PMC handling the collection of PM related payments on behalf of their clients and this affects the mutual relationship and the confidence of the owners / residents in the PMC. If the PMC has a prudent and transparent mechanism to handle these matters, it would obviate disputes and complaints amongst the owners / residents and the PMC, and the PMC can provide better quality and more professional PM services.”
In addition, this Code of Conduct and the related Best Practice Guide also provide licensed PMC with practical guidelines to keep records and documents in relation to moneys received and payments made (such as cheques, pay-in slips, withdrawal slips, copies of receipts and monthly statements), such as storing the relevant record files in a lockable device and kept by an authorized person, as well as arranging designated officers to ensure that the moneys received are deposited into a designated account, and checking the relevant accounting records, etc.
Code of Conduct – “Obligations of Property Management Companies Regarding the Ending of their Appointment”
PMCs are often engaged on contract basis. When switching to a new PMC service, owners’ organisations often face the problem that the newly and previously engaged PMCs fail to carry out handover smoothly. In order to improve the PMC handover process at the end of an appointment, this Code of Conduct sets out clearly various arrangements that a PMC can follow.
Mr Tony TSE, the PMSA Chairperson added, “If the handover between the previously and newly engaged PMCs can be carried out smoothly and in an orderly manner, the disruption on PM work during the handover can be minimised, and the related complaints against PM services can also be reduced.”
This Code of Conduct and related Best Practice Guide provide practical guidance regarding the handover arrangements of outgoing PMC and the transfer of related movable properties. In addition, if the outgoing PMC serves as a secretary or treasurer for the owner’s organisation during its appointment, the transfer of movable properties has to be handled in accordance with the requirements set out in this Code of Conduct, and the outgoing PMC has to arrange for the account and balance sheet to be audited by an accountant specified by the relevant owners’ organisation or other independent auditor so that the handover process can be completed smoothly.
Mr Tony TSE, the PMSA Chairperson stated, “The two Codes of Conduct to be gazetted tomorrow, on the one hand, provide PMCs and PM practitioners with practical guidelines for handling PM-related moneys received on behalf of clients and for the handover work of PMC at the end of its appointment. On the other hand, the Codes of Conduct also provide owners’ organisations with reference to facilitate them to systematically review the financial arrangements in respect of their properties as managed by the PMC, as well as the various matters that need to be addressed when changing PMC service.”
The above Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides can be downloaded from the following PMSA webpage:
|Subject||Download Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides|
|Handling Moneys Received on behalf of Clients by Property Management Companies|
|Obligations of Property Management Companies regarding the Ending of their Appointment|
The above codes and guidelines are formulated in consultation with the PM industry and owners’ organisations, which include the holding of a focus group discussion online on 24 February, whereby views from around 30 representatives of 13 industry associations were collected. The feedback collected from the consultation has been appropriately reflected in the codes and guidelines.
The PMSA will issue other Codes of Conduct and Best Practice Guides timely, covering different PM areas in order to provide guidance to the industry, including but not limited to the following:-
- Handling instrument of appointing a proxy regarding meetings of owners’ corporation / owners;
- Provision of prescribed information and financial documents to clients;
- Prescribed conditions of licence;
- Mechanism of handling emergencies;
- Personal data protection;
- Managing scaffolding works to be carried out at a property;
- Carrying out procurement for clients; and
- Mechanism of managing distribution of promotional material at a property.
The PMSA has issued Codes of Conduct in relation to “General Code of Conduct”, “Complaint Handling Mechanism of Property Management Companies”, and “Effective Control over Property Management Business by Property Management Companies” as well as the related guides for the PM industry.
Ends/Thursday, 6 May 2021
Issued at HKT 18:00