The Property Management Services Bill (the "Bill") was gazetted on 25 April 2014.
The Bill proposes a mandatory licensing regime to regulate the provision of property management services, under the supervision of a Property Management Services Authority (the "Authority"). It is proposed to make it a criminal offence for a property management company ("PMC") or a practitioner ("PMP") to practise without a licence.
The Bill received its first reading on 7 May 2014, and on 9 May 2014 a Bills Committee was set up to scrutinise the Bill.
Please click here to review the legislative timeline for the Bill.
Main features of the Bill
The Authority will assume the dual functions of a licensing body and an industry promoter. The Authority consists of the Chairperson, a Vice-chairperson and not more than 18 members appointed by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR.
Subsidiary legislation and transitional period
After the Bill is passed into law, the Administration will propose subsidiary legislation which will cover the detailed licensing criteria and the levy to be imposed.
It is proposed to allow a three-year transitional period after the enactment of the subsidiary legislation. During the transitional period:
Impact of Bill and preparation for implementation
According to the Administration, the Bill received broad support from the 18 District Councils and the industry. The Administration anticipates that the Bill will lead to an improvement in the quality of property management services, promote integrity, competence and professionalism among PMPs, and enhance the overall status of the profession.
However, the Administration has still not yet published its detailed proposal on the licensing criteria for PMCs and PMPs (both Tier 1 and Tier 2).
To enable a smooth transition to the licensing regime in anticipation of the enactment of the Bill, developers and property management companies should be ready to begin planning for compliance by reviewing the qualifications of staff in their employment and, if necessary, making arrangements for their staff to attain the desired qualifications.
Further details on the Bill
A full set of the Legislative Council Brief and the Bill is available on the Legislative Council's website.
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