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Based on the public’s views, the authorities may eliminate the mandatory annual review of condo managing agents.

The government is seeking the public’s feedback on 33 proposed amendments to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act, one of which would eliminate the mandatory annual review of managing agents of strata-titled properties, reported the Straits Times.

Under existing rules, managing agents are appointed by a condo’s managing body or Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) for up to three years. But their contract can be rescinded based on a review of their performance during the annual general meeting.

According to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), it doesn’t make sense to do a review every year, given their tenure of three years. However, some residents of strata-titled properties are not in favour of this amendment.

63-year-old Winnie Tan, a retired corporate secretary who lives in a condominium at Upper East Coast Road, said their “council is having difficulties negotiating the fees with the managing agent”.

But if the annual review is no longer necessary, “condo owners will have difficulty terminating non-performing managing agents without incurring penalty costs”.  Moreover, managing agents are unlikely to place the interest of condo owners before theirs if the tenure is long.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old undergraduate Chan Kai Yan said managing agents have a tendency to form close ties with the management council, and this may not be in the best interests of residents, especially if there is no yearly review.

For example, the managing agent at his grandmother’s Bukit Timah condo had allegedly failed to account for wheel-clamp release fees, but the BCA could not act on this as the management council had approved the accounts without including the said fees at the annual general meeting.

On the other hand, managing agents lauded the proposed amendment as it would help them plan for a longer term.

Furthermore, the council can still revoke the contract of a non-performing managing agent without having to wait three years, as there’s always a provision for termination in the agreement that can be exercised by either party, noted Eleana Teo, Managing Director at Knight Frank Property Asset Management (Strata Management).

The public have until tomorrow to send their feedback on the proposed amendments.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg

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