Property management is to be regulated. Will this mean better building maintenance and fund collections?

2018-01-17

Malaysia’s real estate managers now need to have their names listed with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), the newly expanded agency in charge of this sector.

This is after the revisions to the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act of 1981 was passed on 17 October 2017 and published on 2 January 2018.

“Strata living will be the future lifestyle of Malaysians as land cost will increase and land is scarce nowadays, leading to more vertical developments. Hence, holistic control and regulation are needed not just in the development aspect but also for property management,” said Housing Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

In fact, over seven million people are currently living in 19,923 strata projects throughout the country, he said during the Thursday launch of the registry and BOVAEP, which was formerly known as the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA).

Aside from the creation of BOVAEP that is under the purview of the Ministry of Finance, the amendments have allowed other professionals to become property managers, said Valuation and Property Services (Operation) Deputy Director General Dr Zailani Mohd Isa.

“The registration of property managers is a liberalisation of the property management profession. Everybody can enter the industry now, provided that they meet the criteria. Before that, only valuers can conduct property management but now it is opened up to all.”

In addition, property management firms operated by registered property managers are exempted from the RM50,000 bond for overseeing a strata project.

Commencing from the launch of the registry, property managers are given a one-year grace period to register themselves by filling in Form C that can be obtained from this link.

Zailani highlighted that the grace-period permits property managers with good track records to continue operating as long as they register with BOVAEP.

“Beyond this one-year grace period, property managers will have to go through a very stringent process to have themselves be formally recognised, which requires a degree in property management and formal training under a registered property manager.”

Property managers who fail to register will be warned. Aside from suspension, they may also need to pay fine of at least RM10,000.

“There are currently about 1,200 registered property managers/valuers now and we hope all 5,000 unregistered property managers will register themselves with us in over these 12 months,” noted Zailani.

BOVAEP Board Member Kamaruzaman Jamil also added that the police will help them in conducting investigations and seize the businesses of unregistered property managers.

Meanwhile, BOVAEP revealed that they received more than 100 complaints about malpractice and mismanagement last year. Of these, 10 cases involved registered property valuers, while 116 involved illegal practitioners.

Housing Minister Noh also noted that the Commissioner of Buildings (COB) reported 16,394 complaints involving strata properties in 2016.

“These problems [maintenance and management issues] are not limited to property developers but to Joint Management Body and Management Corporation (MC) as well.”

“This shows that property management has to be conducted professionally to ensure quality management. To that, the amendment of Act 242 will be a new beginning to enhance property management standards for the benefit of the strata communities,” Noh said.

For those with grievances regarding strata properties, they can email their complaints to [email protected].

Practicing property managers can register with the Board by filling in Form C which they can obtain from http://lppeh.gov.my/WP2016/forms/, and submit it to the Board.

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