Boosting standards of condo management

The management of strata-titled residential properties is regulated under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act administered by the Ministry of National Development ("Tighten oversight of condominium management" by Mr Frankie Mao; Aug 9, "Require condo management to submit accounts to MND" by Mr Chan Kai Yan; Aug 10, "More regulation needed over managing agents" by Ms Wendy Chan Mei Yoke; Aug 11, and "Home owners should take more interest in how condos are run" by Mr Sum Kam Weng; Aug 11).

Condominiums in Singapore are managed by a council of management whose members are elected into office by apartment owners (subsidiary proprietors) at annual general meetings.

As council members are volunteers, the vast majority of councils opt to appoint managing agents to assist them with the day-to-day running of the estate and to ensure that operations comply with the laws.

The Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM) was formed in 1995 to promote and maintain the standard and practice of property and facility management, among other objectives.

In December 2003, the APFM, together with the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers, implemented the Accredited Managing Agent scheme, where an assessment panel will assess managing agents who apply for accreditation.

If and when complaints are lodged, a disciplinary board will be constituted to hear and resolve disputes.

The Association of Property and Facility Managers has also been in talks with government agencies to further professionalise the industry and would welcome the registration or licensing of managing agents along the lines of the Accredited Managing Agent scheme implemented by the association.

In addition, the APFM has implemented a scheme to certify qualified and experienced practitioners as property and facility managers.

The APFM has also been in talks with government agencies to further professionalise the industry and would welcome the registration or licensing of managing agents along the lines of the Accredited Managing Agent scheme implemented by the APFM. This will ensure that only companies which are accredited and which employ qualified staff will be allowed to service the industry.

The property and facility management industry is currently experiencing a manpower shortage due to the large number of residential units being completed for occupation in recent years.

To address this, the APFM has been in consultation with stakeholders on how to further leverage technology to enhance efficiency and optimise cost, and to better equip members with knowledge and skill sets that are constantly evolving.

In the interim, there is a need for all parties involved to make efforts to understand their respective roles and the constraints in the current environment, so that viable solutions can be jointly evolved.

There is also a need to relook budgets so that appropriate resources can be procured to ensure that estates are well managed and maintained.

Janet Han (Ms)

Secretariat

Association of Property and Facility Managers

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2016, with the headline 'Boosting standards of condo management'. Print Edition | Subscribe