Proposed Licensing Regime for Property Management Companies and Property Management Practitioners under the Property Management Services Authority
The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) today (December 17) explained the following key points regarding the proposed licensing regime for property management companies and property management practitioners under the Property Management Services Ordinance (Cap. 626) (PMSO).
The PMSA launched a public consultation on the proposals regarding the licensing regime for property management companies (PMCs) and property management practitioners (PMPs) under the PMSO on November 21, 2018. The PMSA attaches great importance to the opinions of stakeholders. From November 2017 till the time before the public consultation, the PMSA engaged in communication and consultation with the stakeholders related to the licensing regime. The aim of the public consultation this time is to set the minimum requirements for the licence holder. If a frontline staff who does not assume a supervisory and managerial role, he or she is not required to obtain a licence of property management practitioner. Having considered requests from stakeholders, the PMSA on December 3 decided to extend the consultation period from January 2, 2019 to January 18, 2019 so that the public could have more time to provide their views on the consultation paper. Views collected will be considered when preparing the draft subsidiary legislation for the licensing regime for submission to the Legislative Council for negative vetting. The licensing regime for the property management services will be formally implemented upon the completion of the vetting procedures by the Legislative Council and the putting in place of the corresponding supporting measures by the PMSA.
Since some of the stakeholders have expressed their opinions towards the consultation paper, the PMSA would like to reaffirm the following key points regarding the proposals for the licensing regime.
Regarding the licensing regime for PMCs, the PMSO stipulates that prohibition of unlicensed activities does not apply to a PMC whose business does not involve the provision of property management services that fall within more than one category of services in the regulation; or fall within more than one type of service. The PMC in such a case is not required to obtain a licence. For instance, a PMC providing only “repair, maintenance and improvement of a property” (i.e. the third category of property management services) is not required to obtain a licence.
Regarding the licensing regime for PMPs, the definition of PMP under the PMSO consists of two major elements: (a) assuming a managerial or supervisory role in a PMC; and (b) in relation to property management services provided by the PMC concerned. Whether an individual is subject to the licensing requirements does not depend on the post title, but rather on whether the work of the individual concerned satisfies both criteria (a) and (b) and hence falls within the definition of PMP. In other words, only those PMPs who assume a supervisory or managerial role in the provision of property management services will be subject to the licensing regime. Frontline staff who do not assume a managerial or supervisory role are not required to obtain PMP licences. This is in line with the purpose of the licensing system, which is to require those in the management level and decision-making level for the provision of services to ensure service quality.
As regards the requirement for owners’ organisations (e.g. owners’ corporations) to obtain PMC licences, the PMSO stipulates that if an owners’ organisation self manages a property that contains less than 1,500 flats (which includes car parking spaces pursuant to section 2 of the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344)) and no PMC or PMP is engaged by the owners’ organisation, the owners’ organisation may provide property management services but is not required to obtain a licence. If the owners’ organisation has engaged a PMC to provide property management services for its property and the owner's organisation does not provide more than one type of property management service, that owner's organisation is not required to obtain a PMC licence.
As a statutory body established in accordance with section 42(1) of the PMSO, the PMSA is tasked to regulate the provision of property management services by companies and practitioners in Hong Kong, and to promote professional development of the industry. Through formulating and implementing a licensing regulatory regime and other complementary measures that suit the situation in Hong Kong, the PMSA aims to encourage and assist the property management industry and its practitioners in striving for enhancement in quality and professionalism, so as to provide property owners, occupiers and users with professional property management services. The PMSA will closely communicate with the industry and review the opinions received in details, in order to alleviate the concerns of the industry and to refine the licensing regime.
Ends/Wednesday, December 17, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:15