Pledge on property tribunal funds

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 May, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 May, 1993, 12:00am

THE Government has pledged to consider allocating money for a tribunal to deal with disputes between flat owners and property managers.

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen Ming-yeung, told legislators yesterday that the Judiciary would seek additional resources for the implementation of the proposed building management tribunal in the 1994/95 estimates.

In presenting the Multi-Storey Buildings (Owners Incorporation) (Amendment) Bill for its second and third readings yesterday, ad hoc group convenor Mr Allen Lee Peng-fei said members were adamant that such a tribunal was essential to the effective operation of the legislation.

But they accepted that an interim solution to the problem would be to expand the jurisdiction of the Lands Tribunal to deal with disputes between flat owners and property managers, and provisions between the Deeds of Mutual Covenant and Building Management Ordinance.

Liberal legislators were concerned that the interests of small owners were not sufficiently protected by the bill, while the Liberal Party called for a licensing system for management firms.

United Democrat Mr Lee Wing-tat said small owners' interests were at stake where developers held more than 50 per cent of the flats in a housing estate.

He suggested that objections from 50 per cent of the small owners, instead of all owners in an estate, should be enough to void applications to the Secretary for Home Affairs by management companies seeking exemption from termination of service.

Meeting Point legislators shared this view, but abstained from voting as they felt there were still many loopholes in the bill.