BMSMA framework empowers condos to manage their own estates (Lianhe Zaobao Exchange)

Friday, 21 December 2018

We refer to the letters “房地产管委会的不当行为” (8 Dec) and “公寓管委会行为谁监管” (15 Dec) and would like to clarify the following points relating to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA):

MCSTs should ensure that a quorum is met before matters are discussed or voted upon at a general meeting. This means the number of Subsidiary Proprietors (SPs) present at the meeting, either in person or by proxy, represents at least 30% of the total share value of all the lots. The legislation allows that if there is no quorum within half an hour of the time fixed for the meeting, the meeting may proceed provided at least two SPs are present in person. However, this rule does not apply to any general meeting that is convened on request of the SPs.

MCSTs must also ensure that the audit of their books and accounts are carried out by a person who is a public accountant as defined in the Companies Act. The finalised audited reports prepared by the public accountant must be presented at the Annual General Meeting.

MCSTs should ensure that proposals tabled at general meetings, such as those to revise the maintenance charges to be collected from SPs, are accompanied with adequate justifications.

All SPs are strongly encouraged to attend general meetings to discuss and vote on matters concerning their estate. With effect from 1 February 2019, the BMSMA will limit every proxy to represent no more than 2% of the total number of lots in the development or two SPs, whichever is higher. This amendment, which has incorporated feedback from public consultations on the BMSMA, aims to prevent abuse of the proxy system.

Also, with effect from 1 February 2019, any nominees for election as council member must give verbal consent at the meeting or in writing at least 48 hours before the meeting.

The BMSMA is a framework that empowers MCSTs to manage their own estates. In this regard, its broad provisions aim to guide MCSTs to conduct general meetings in a fair and proper manner. If an SP finds that any part of the proceedings at the general meetings of the MCSTs does not comply with the provisions of the BMSMA, the SP may apply to the Strata Titles Boards (STB) for an order to invalidate the proceedings of the meeting. The STB is a quasi-judicial tribunal set up to hear a list of disputes between an MCST and SP.

Lim Chong Yong (林宗荣)
Director, Building Management Department (署长,建筑管理处)
Building Plan and Management Group (建筑管制署)
Building and Construction Authority (建设局)

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