Property owners, managing agents must rely on contract

The working relationship between property owners and their managing agents is ultimately based on a contract, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said in a written response to a parliamentary question from Aljunied GRC MP Sylvia Lim on Monday.

Ms Lim had asked how the government safeguards the interests of consumers of property managing agent services.

Mr Khaw said most consumers of residential property managing agent services live in HDB estates.

In such instances, the town councils ensure agents do their job properly and safeguard the residents’ interests.

For those in strata housing, property owners have a choice in hiring their own maintenance teams, or engaging the services of a third-party managing agent based on their expected service level and budget.

Mr Khaw said the industry is well developed with more than 100 companies offering such services, giving property owners an adequate pool to choose from.

Ms Lim had also asked why the Singapore Standard on the performance of managing agents for strata residential properties was withdrawn.

But Mr Khaw said the Singapore Standard was developed to help raise the professionalism of managing agents for strata residential properties.

He said the emphasis was on the contractual obligation between a strata residential property management corporation and the managing agent, not on the managing agent’s work performance.

In April 2011, the Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM) and the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) jointly worked out a similar agreement for the appointment of managing agents.

The standard was withdrawn with the consensus of the industry.

Source: CNA – 15 May 2012

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