We refer to Mr Leong Kok Seng's letter (Clear guidelines needed on awnings in condos; Aug 23), and would like to clarify the requirements and process for installing covers, such as awnings, over Private Enclosed Spaces (PES) in condominiums.
We strongly agree that the safety of residents is paramount, which is why Paragraph 5(3) of the Prescribed By-laws under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) states that a homeowner or occupier of a lot shall not be prevented from installing any structure or device intended to prevent harm to children.
Any homeowner who plans to install a cover over a private enclosed space (PES) within his or her strata unit must seek the authorisation of the management corporation (MCST) as the works may affect the appearance of the building. The homeowner must install the structure or device according to the guidelines that the MCST may prescribe regarding such installations, and must ensure that such structures or devices do not detract from the appearance of the buildings. The MCST should ensure that the guidelines comply with the statutory requirements of relevant government agencies. In the event that a homeowner seeks the MCST's authorisation before such guidelines are prescribed, the MCST can decide the matter on a case-by-case basis.
Since 2013, developers are required to install a minimum two-metre PES cover from the external wall of units, to protect residents from falling objects. Homeowners can apply to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and the relevant agencies to install additional covers, after obtaining authorisation from their MCST or developer if their MCST has not been constituted. URA will approve PES covers provided the structure are not excessively large and satisfy requirements on building setback and height controls, to safeguard the overall intensity of the development, while the relevant agencies will assess other aspects such as fire safety.
Lim Chong Yong
Director, Building Management Department
Building and Construction Authority
Kwek Hiong Chin
Director, Development Control (City) Department
Urban Redevelopment Authority