Property owners get more say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 July, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 July, 2003, 12:00am

A new regulation will help thousands of homeowners protect themselves from acrimonious conflicts with their property management companies, but critics say it lacks elements that would allow authorities to enforce compliance.

The State Council's property management regulation, which takes effect on September 1, guarantees homeowners' associations the right to switch management companies with a two-thirds vote.

It also gives homeowners, rather than property management companies, the right to decide what happens to public space and offers residents a voice in how much management charges for maintenance or extra services such as parking. Firms must show residents how their fees are spent.

'Now, without the law, when the management says something, you've got to do that,' said Cui Wanyou, a homeowner at the Lianri Jiayuan complex in Beijing.

But those who have tangled with property management companies suspect that without stronger punitive clauses in the new rules and without a stronger court system, they will continue to cause problems.