We refer to the recent Forum letters relating to the welfare of managing agents working in condominiums (Protect managing agent staff and management councils better from abuse, May 10; Law gives condo managing agent staff little protection against abuse; Condo residents should treat others the way they themselves wish to be treated, both May 17; and BCA should address concerns raised on condo issues, May 23).
We agree that abuse of managing agents and volunteers in management councils is unacceptable.
Managing agents play an important role in helping management corporations maintain and upkeep strata-titled properties, including condominiums. Like any other frontline personnel, managing agent staff should be treated with respect.
Managing agent firms can take actions to protect their staff from abuse, such as displaying posters to remind condominium residents to treat their staff with respect, as well as installing closed-circuit cameras in the management office.
Meanwhile, the Protection from Harassment Act provides legal protection against abuse and harassment for individuals, including managing agent staff. Managing agent firms should establish an escalation process for staff who are verbally or physically harassed, including requesting help from security officers on-site and lodging a report with the police if necessary.
Managing agent firms can also train their staff to better manage disputes. Such training is available under the accreditation schemes for managing agents administered by the Association of Property and Facility Managers and the Association of Strata Managers.
BCA has developed a series of Strata Management Guides, which are available online, to help managing agents, management corporations and condominium residents better understand their roles and responsibilities within a strata-titled property.
The guides also provide advice on how residents can resolve disputes in an amicable manner. BCA recognises the challenges faced by managing agents and their staff, and will continue to work with industry associations to engage and remind stakeholders of the importance of building a harmonious strata community.
We urge all stakeholders, including condominium residents, managing agent firms and volunteers in management councils, to work together towards a safe and harmonious living and working environment in condominium estates.
Lim Chong Yong
Director, Building Management Department
Building and Construction Authority