Only one-third of unlicensed property managers registered with BOVAEP

PETALING JAYA: Almost a year after the end of a window period for those involved in property management to register themselves with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), only one-third of the unregistered property managers have registered.

The one-year window period ended on Dec 31 last year (2018).

It was reported earlier that BOVAEP has estimated that there were about 5,000 unregistered property managers in the country prior to the registration exercise.

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In a bid to liberalise the property management sector and to better protect public interest, an amendment was made to the then Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 or Act 242 in early 2018 which saw the establishment of the Register of Property Managers to regulate property managers, separating the profession from the Register of Valuers.

Following that, a one-year window period was offered to any person with property management experience or qualification to register themselves as a licensed property manager under the board.

To date, BOVAEP has approved the application of 1,505 practising property managers who were not registered with the board before this, says BOVAEP board member Ishak Ismail.

Ishak, who is the chairman of BOVAEP’s property management practice committee tells, that about 179 applications are still pending interviews and about 40 have been put on the keep-in-view list due to insufficient or incomplete documents.

Meanwhile, there are about 450 rejected applications of which about 200 are awaiting their appeals to be heard.

The top three reasons for rejections, according to Ishak, are insufficient relevant experience, lack of required academic qualifications and inadequate capabilities in areas of expertise required by the board.

“Those who were rejected are allowed to make an appeal before Dec 31, 2019,” he notes.

Ishak admits that the number of newcomers has fallen short of the board’s expectations but he is confident that the enlarged group of registered property managers will be sufficient to cater to the demand for their services.

“There are close to 3,000 registered property managers in the country to date including the 1,505 newly registered ones,” he says.

Meanwhile, the newly registered property managers will need to join the older ones to attend a mandatory continuous professional development (CPD) programme to be organised by BOVAEP, before they can renew their annual licences for 2020.

“This is going to be a one-day programme in at least five locations, namely Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuantan, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in October, November and December. All of the registered property managers will have to understand the dos and don’ts when they are practising such as the role of the board and the property manager, and the contents of Act 242, among others,” he elaborates.

Those who have yet to register themselves with BOVAEP should do it soon as the board is pushing for an amendment to the Strata Management Act 2013 (Act 757) in order to put a halt to uncertified property management practices in the country.

The board has proposed to the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) to amend the Act to allow only registered property managers to be appointed by Joint Management Bodies (JMB) or Management Corporations (MC).

Currently, Act 757 gives a JMB or MC the option to employ the services of “any person or agent” to undertake the maintenance and management of the common property in their buildings or land.

“Given that we have successfully amended Act 242 and embraced those who had no licences, I think it is time the KPKT seriously considers putting a stop to those who are stubborn because we have allowed everybody to come in during the 12-month window period,” says Ishak.

In the meantime, BOVAEP, he adds, will continue to work with the police to curb uncertified property management practices while educating the public on the importance of engaging registered property managers.

According to Act 242, an unregistered property manager is liable for conviction to a fine of not exceeding RM30,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both. The person shall be liable to a further penalty of RM1,000 for each day during the continuance of such offence.

This story first appeared in the pullout on Oct 11, 2019. You can access back issues here.

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