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  New requirement to declare membership eligibility of management committees of owners' corporations

To facilitate the formation of management committees (MCs) of owners' corporations (OCs) and encourage more owners to participate in the management work in their buildings, the Administration has amended the relevant provisions of the Building Management Ordinance (Cap 344) (BMO) through the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance 2014 to obviate the need for taking an oath with effect from January 5, 2015.

Under the existing provisions of the BMO, a member of the MC is required to take an oath before a Justice of the Peace, notary public, Commissioner for Oaths or other persons authorised to administer an oath within 21 days after the appointment to declare that he or she is not an ineligible person specified in Schedule 2 to the BMO and confirm his or her membership eligibility.

According to the amended Ordinance, the elected MC member of a newly formed OC and those elected by way of re-election or by-election shall only lodge a "Statement of Eligibility" stating that he or she does not fall within any of the categories of the ineligible persons specified in Schedule 2 to the BMO without a statutory declaration (commonly known as "an oath"). Any MC member who fails to lodge a statement within 21 days after the election shall cease to be such member.

In completing a statement, the elected MC member shall sign the statement in the form the Land Registrar may specify in the presence of a witness who shall also sign the statement to confirm that the signature of the member is genuine. A witness may be any person aged 18 or above including the MC member's family member, a neighbour or another MC member. The MC member may lodge the statement in or outside Hong Kong.

The MC Secretary shall submit the "Statement of Eligibility" to the Land Registry for filing within 28 days after the election of MC members of a newly formed OC or within 28 days upon receipt of the statement from members elected by re-election or by-election.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Department stressed that, while a statement is not a statutory declaration, an MC member will still be held liable for providing false information in the statement.

Ends/Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 14:30