Empower condo managements to enforce by-laws

I wish to urge the relevant authorities to look into the issues behind maintaining a condominium estate (Judge orders condo owner to restore balcony's design; Dec 4).

As demonstrated in that article, the management corporation (MC) had to resort to suing an owner of a condo unit for not following its by-laws.

This system of recourse is not the most effective use of resources.

As a condo dweller who sits on the MC, I appeal to the relevant authorities to empower the MCs to better manage the condominium estates, as well as to set-up a regulatory framework that governs the service standards of companies providing managing agent services so as to protect the interest of private property owners.

Unlike the authorities in charge of HDB flats, who can step in to promptly manage rule violations, condos' MCs are effectively on their own in all aspects of estate management.

Should there be owners who doggedly flout the by-laws, my experience has been that the recourse for MCs is very limited - even if these violations happen to jeopardise safety - unless the MC proceeds to take legal action.

This is time-consuming and draining, and serves to enrich only the lawyers.

Also, there is currently no framework that grades the service standards of managing agents, and it appears to be a matter of luck whether an estate gets a capable and honest one.

At my condo, we had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with an incompetent and dishonest managing agent.

It is quite puzzling that the Government does not have a regulatory framework for managing agents when similar frameworks exist for security companies and other industries.

More needs to be done to protect the interests of private property owners.

Lee Yong Se

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2018, with the headline 'Empower condo managements to enforce by-laws'. Print Edition | Subscribe