It is the responsibility of private property owners to manage their own properties. In respect of building management, it has been the Government’s policy to assist owners in discharging their management responsibilities. The Home Affairs Department (HAD) has taken various measures, including the provision of a sound statutory framework for the formation of owners’ corporations (OCs), to offer support services to OCs and owners. The staff of the HAD will assist OCs and owners in handling building management issues but will not assume the management responsibilities for them.
When planning building maintenance works, owners should play an active role in learning the details of the works as early as possible and in discussing maintenance proposals among themselves in order to avoid disputes. The HAD provides a range of building management support services to assist OCs and owners, including:
Owners’ Corporations Advisory Services Scheme
To strengthen support for OCs and promote effective building management, the HAD has implemented the “Owners’ Corporations Advisory Services Scheme”. Under the scheme, property management companies are engaged to provide OCs with free advisory services such as assisting OCs in complying with the Building Management Ordinance and relevant Codes of Practice, and adopt the Best Practices and the Checklist in handling building management matters, assisting OCs in procuring third party risks insurance, assisting OCs in engaging accountants to audit financial statements, providing OCs with advice and assistance in handling daily building management matters, assisting OCs in handling complaints or enquiries about building management matters and to assisting OCs in applying for building management-related support services and subsidies.
Support Services for Resolving Disputes
OCs and owners may have disagreements and disputes over building management. To assist owners and OCs in resolving their disputes, the HAD provides the following support services:
1. The Panel of Advisors on Building Management Disputes – comprising professionals from different backgrounds (including lawyers, accountants, surveyors, engineers and property management professionals) and with rich experience in building management to help owners/OCs resolve complicated building management disputes
2. Building Management Dispute Resolution Service – under which a retired Judge/Judicial Officer with experience in dealing with building management cases is appointed to assist the parties involved in identifying issues in dispute, and exploring and generating options, with a view to reaching a settlement
3. Free Mediation Service Scheme for Building Management – launched in collaboration with the Hong Kong Mediation Centre and the Hong Kong Mediation Council to help the parties involved resolve building management disputes through mediation
4. Free Outreach Legal Advice Service on Building Management – launched as a pilot scheme in collaboration with the Law Society of Hong Kong, under which lawyers are assigned to assist eligible OCs in conducting meetings
For details of building management support services and application procedures, please visit the HAD’s dedicated website on building management (www.buildingmgt.gov.hk). Enquiry number: 2835 2500.