THE Government yesterday revealed plans to reform the management of residential buildings after a hawker was killed by a falling slab of concrete this week. Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan Hung-tsung said the Government would draft new legislation seeking that all new residential blocks of flats set up owners' corporations. Under the new law, to be tabled to the Legislative Council before the end of the year, property owners will also be required to purchase third party insurance to provide protection for people on the streets. In addition, the authorities will hire management companies to look after old residential buildings that are badly operated. Owners of these buildings will have to pay all related management fees. This comes after a chunk of concrete fell off the second floor of an old residential building in Kowloon City yesterday. No one was injured in the incident which happened shortly after 11am on South Wall Road. Three concrete chunks weighing more than five kilograms each hit the pedestrian sidewalk. Concerns over building safety were raised earlier this week after lingerie hawker Liu Ngan-fong, 41, died instantly when a 6.5kg slab of concrete fell from the residential block behind her stall on Tung Choi Street and struck her head on Tuesday. The Government suggested another law on Thursday requiring old residential blocks to undergo safety checks. Speaking on a Commercial Radio programme, Mr Lan said that many buildings were ill-managed because they did not have an owners' corporation to look after the blocks. 'We think some compulsory scheme on building management is needed,' he said. 'If problems are found in some buildings due to bad property management in our routine checks or after receiving complaints, we will urge them to make improvements. 'If nothing is done, then we will hire management firms for them. The companies would then take over the management of these buildings.' Mr Lan said owners' corporations were important to urban renewal since they were responsible for buildings' safety and maintenance. The Government would continue to encourage owners of old blocks to set up committees on their own. There were more than 50,000 residential buildings in the SAR but only one-tenth of them had owners' corporations organised. Over the past three years, only about 900 new corporations were set up. There are more than 12,000 blocks at least 30 years old and many of them had structural and fire safety problems that needed urgent attention. Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun, also a member of the Land Development Corporation, supports the scheme but stressed that the Government should look at the financial background of the owners of old blocks. He also felt a mechanism should be set up to monitor the operations of management companies hired by the Government. Chan Chi-kau, Association of Building Management chairman, said he worried that owners of old blocks would not co-operate with companies hired by authorities. 'It would be easy if the Government handled all procedures in the process,' he said. 'However, there will be a lot of problems if the Government only hired a management company and left it to deal with owners. 'Those owners probably do not have any knowledge of building management and there would also be financial problems. It will even be difficult for the company to contact these owners since there was no owners' corporation organised,' he said. Yip Siu-ping, a representative of the Hong Kong People's Council on Public Housing Policy, said the Government had to provide more support to owners' corporations. 'These groups have a legal liability to matters about their buildings and they need to know a lot on legal affairs,' she said. 'The Government has to offer assistance on this regard.'