Support to the Owners and Owners' Corporations
|The Home Affairs Department (HAD) adopts a three-pronged approach to render support services to owners of private buildings by -
- establishing a legal framework for the formation and operation of owners' corporations (OCs);
- providing more effective advisory and support services; and
- organizing training programmes for members of OCs.
The Building Management Ordinance (BMO) (Chapter
344) was enacted to facilitate the incorporation
of owners of flats in buildings or groups of buildings,
to provide for the management of buildings or
groups of buildings and for matters incidental
thereto or connected therewith. The BMO has been
amended to tie in with the ongoing changes of
The Authority introduced the Building Management (Amendment) Bill 2005 (the Bill), with the draft Building Management (Third Party Risks Insurance) Regulation, into the Legislative Council in April 2005. The Bill aims to assist OCs in performing their duties and exercising their powers, safeguard the interests of property owners, and rationalize the appointment procedures of a management committee and its members. The Bill was approved by the Legislative Council on 25 April 2007 and became the Building Management (Amendment) Ordinance 2007. It commenced operation on 1 August 2007.
More professional support for OCs
The Home Affairs Department (HAD) has a dedicated division in the Headquarters to co-ordinate building management matters. It has also set up District Building Management Liaison Teams (DBMLTs) in the 18 District Offices to provide comprehensive support services for owners and OCs. DBMLTs, made up of properly trained Liaison Officers, are responsible for assisting owners in forming OCs, attending OCs’ meetings and giving advice to owners and OCs to help tackle building management issues. In addition, DBMLTs also assist departments in their work regarding building maintenance and fire safety.
If there are any disagreements or disputes on building management and maintenance between OCs and owners, DBMLTs will offer the following support services to help resolve the conflict:
- Free Legal Advice Service on Building Management — the Law Society of Hong Kong will arrange for its members to meet with owners or OCs to provide professional advice on the interpretation of the provisions of the Building Management Ordinance and other related legal matters.
- Free Mediation Service Scheme for Building Management — the Hong Kong Mediation Centre or the Hong Kong Mediation Council will arrange for accredited mediators to provide owners and OCs with a maximum of 15 hours of free professional mediation services, so as to help the parties concerned to resolve the disputes promptly and effectively by reaching a settlement through mediation. This will save the cost and time needed for legal action.
- Panel of Advisors on Building Management Disputes (the Panel) — HAD will arrange for the Panel, comprising professionals such as lawyers, accountants, surveyors and property managers, etc., to meet with owners and OCs to provide professional advice.
Training for members of OCs
HAD and its 18 District Offices organize various educational activities, such as seminars, training courses, talks, visits, exhibitions and fire drills, etc., for owners in order to help them in discharging their responsibility for managing and maintaining their properties.
From January to March 2017, HAD staff have paid 6961 visits to OCs/Mutual Aid Committees/owners' committees and buildings without any form of management and organized 79 educational and publicity activities.