Condo management agents may need to undergo training: BCA

Managing agents (MAs) for condominiums may soon be required to undergo training in a move to raise the bar in the industry, a senior Building and Construction Authority (BCA) official said on Thursday, April 10, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS
Managing agents (MAs) for condominiums may soon be required to undergo training in a move to raise the bar in the industry, a senior Building and Construction Authority (BCA) official said on Thursday, April 10, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Managing agents (MAs) for condominiums may soon be required to undergo training in a move to raise the bar in the industry, a senior Building and Construction Authority (BCA) official said on Thursday.

This would be "one of the most effective ways" to raise the professionalism of the strata management industry, said Mr Chin Chi Leong, the commissioner of buildings.

For instance, managing agents need to have "good working knowledge" of the rules and requirements for strata-titled properties, he said, adding that they should also be able to provide simple advice on building maintenance to the property's management corporation strata title (MCST) council.

"Most management corporation council members are laypersons and rely heavily on their appointed managing agents to help them self-manage their estate."

Mr Chin was speaking at an inaugural conference on strata management at York Hotel held by the Association of Property and Facility Managers, an industry body for managing agents.

The association president Prof Lim Lan Yuan told the conference that it would launch a certified training programme on strata management and management corporations.

Applicants for the course will have to study topics such as strata law, property maintenance, condominium operations and conflict management.

"There is a need for more competent and knowledgeable property and facility managers who are familiar with the legal, management, financial and technical aspects of strata developments," he said.

"Property and facility managers will do well by helping to resolve these conflicts and disputes without resorting to litigation which will involve time, cost and damage to the reputation of the strata development."

Mr Alfonso Ang, deputy president of the Strata Title Board, also said at the conference that home owners embroiled in a dispute should seek mediation first and only go to the board for adjudication as a "last resort, if possible".