Message from PFMD Chairman (June 2014)

 Joint Forum on the PropertyManagement Services Bill

I represented the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors’ Property and Facility Division at the Joint Forum on the Property Management Services Bill on 7 June 2014. The following views were expressed during the forum and a letter was sent to the Home Affairs Bureau on 16 June 2014.


Having reviewed the justifications for the Legislative Council Brief prepared by the Home Affairs Department, which considered that a mandatory licencing regime setting out a minimum qualification requirement for Property Management Companies (PMCs) and Property Management Practitioners (PMPs) would raise professional standards and promote the concept of maintaining building safety, the HKIS supports the proposed enactment of the Property Management Services Bill in principle.


Licencing Criteria

  1. The future Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) should adopt a level of assessment criteria compatible with the current property management industry standard for PMCs. The listing criteria of the Property Management Agent/Property Services Agent of the Hong Kong Housing Authority or the Home Affairs Department may be used as a benchmark.  
  2. The PMC must appoint a Tier One PMP as its full-time director or member of senior management staff. The number of PMPs employed must be proportionate to the number of properties it manages. Each individual property must also be managed by a designated Tier One or Two PMP.  
  3. Similarly, the licencing criteria for PMPs should be compatible with the general market requirement of a professional property manager. In most government tenders for property and facility management services, the minimum requirement for an estate/property manager is professional membership with a certain number of years of post-qualification experience. In line with this benchmark, the HKIS considers that a Tier One PMP should have a professional status that is commensurate with the government’s tender requirement.  
  4. Members of the HKIS have long provided professional property and facility management services to public and private properties and should have direct access to tier one PMP. The HKIS also offers professional assessments of its members, so the PMSA’s direct adoption of its assessment standards would avoid a duplication of resources.



  1. Schedule 3 of the Bill stipulates that less than a quarter of PMSA members shall be appointed from individuals engaged in property management services. This apportionment is unsatisfactory, considering that the PMSA has to  investigate complaints and handle disputes/appeals related to property management services. The HKIS recommends that at least one-third of PMSA members should be appointed from property management-related professional organisations such as the HKIS, so as to uphold fairness and protect the interests of PMCs and PMPs.  
  2. Similarly, any investigative team appointed to handle complaints and any appeal panel/tribunal formed to hear appeals should have at least half of its members appointed from property management-related professional institutes, so as to enable any decision to be fairly, squarely, and professionally made.  
  3. Malicious complaints, as a tactic of plaintiffs to counteract or restrain the enforcement actions of estate/property managers, are a common phenomenon in the property management industry. There should be guidelines for accepting and addressing complaints, as well as arrangements for the PMSA to refer any malicious action to a government department, such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) or Hong Kong Police, for follow-up action.  
  4. The licencing and application fees are still uncertain at this time. The HKIS opines that the fees levied by the PMC and PMP should be at levels that will not have a debilitating effect on the client.


Transitional Arrangement

  1. Once a PMC or PMP meets the licencing criteria, that party should be issued a permanent licence during the three-year transitional period.
  2. Whilst the HKIS supports the granting of provisional licences to those PMCs and PMPs that cannot meet the minimum licencing criteria, they should be assessed during the three-year transitional period, so as to bring their management standards up to par. Apart from a provisional licence, the government should consider a one-off “grandfather arrangement” for those senior and experienced practitioners who boast long years of professional work experience. 
  3. The PMSA should honour the assessment arrangements of the various professional institutes as a benchmark of the assessment criteria during the transitional period. The HKIS is pleased to offer assistance in this respect.


Visit to China Banking Regulatory Commission’s Non-Bank Financial Institution Supervision Section

The HKIS visited the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s Non-Bank Financial Institution in Shanghai on 11 June 2014. Led by the Immediate Past President, Sr Stephen Lai, representatives of the Property and Facility Management and General Practice Divisions met Mr Yang Ying, the Section Chief of the No.2 Off-site Supervision Section, and Mr Zhang Xilin, the Deputy General Manager, Real Estate Finance, of Shanghai Trust and their colleagues to discuss the various aspects of cooperation.


During the meeting, the different scopes of services provided by Hong Kong surveyors were introduced and explained. It was recognised that Hong Kong surveyors could provide much more than traditional services like property valuation and property and facility management. In fact, they can cover the various aspects of overall asset management from the acquisition of an asset to its disposal. It was suggested that more seminars and conferences could be held for members of the Non-Bank Financial Institution in Shanghai to allow them to better understand Hong Kong’s surveyor services, which would be helpful for these non-bank financial institutions’ asset management activities.