An attempt to make it easier for flat owners to manage their own buildings has been defeated amid fierce pressure from developers. A Democrat-led campaign to allow as few as 10 per cent of flat owners in a building to appoint a management committee and thus be able to apply to form an owners' corporation was voted down. A resolution by at least 50 per cent of owners (by shares in the flats) will remain the requirement for the appointment of a management committee. Tsang Yok-sing, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, had warned: 'We can imagine one scenario where we may have two groups of residents at one building calling meetings to form owners' corporations.' At the centre of the dispute was the controversial Building Management (Amendment) Bill, tabled to Legco again yesterday. It had been withdrawn last week after a dispute over procedural moves during a debate. The bill was eventually passed last night. Residents can now apply initially to the Secretary for Home Affairs to form an owners' corporation with consent from 30 per cent of owners. If turned down, a lower 10 per cent can then apply to the Lands Tribunal. There are 6,155 owners' corporations covering 20 per cent of residential blocks. Over the past year, 300 corporations were set up. The amended building management law forms the backbone of government building safety reforms. It requires mandatory management of buildings with serious maintenance problems and requires owners to take out public liability insurance for common areas of the blocks.