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MPMS offers recourse for property management issues

KUALA LUMPUR: Property owners now have some recourse for property management-related issues via the implementation the Malaysian Property Management Standards (MPMS) introduced by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia, which took effect on June 1, 2010.

The MPMS covers 10 areas namely the duties, qualification and code of conduct of a property manager; appointment of the former; handing and taking over of property; building management; maintenance management; financial management; administrative management; insurance management; health, safety and emergency management; and tenancy and lease management.

The standards, which apply to all types of property, were jointly formulated by the Property Management Committee of the Board, the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia, the Association of Private Valuers, property managers, as well as academicians.

Registered professional property managers are required to comply with the standards, failing which the Board will act against them, said its president Datuk Abdullah Thalith Md Thani at the launch of the Standards on Tuesday, July 20.

"Property owners may lodge a complaint, but the board can also take the initiative to check," he said at a press briefing following the launch ceremony.

Depending on the severity of the infraction, the property managers may be admonished, fined, suspended or even de-registered, he added.

There are currently 700 property valuers working in the private and public sectors, according to Abdullah. In-house property management appointed by building owners are not required to meet these standards, he said.

He clarified that while a property owner is entitled to hire their own in-house management, it was illegal for anyone not registered with the Board to practice property management.

"If you offer the services (of managing funds), it is not a business but a profession, and that must be regulated," he said.

Among the stipulations in the MPMS, property managers must be adequately covered by professional indemnity insurance so that property owners, tenants and other stakeholders will have recourse should they fail in their duties, said the Property Management Practice Committee chairman Eric Ooi.

He said the standards were important to ensure there would be an accepted level of service across the country.

On the amendments for the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 tabled in Parliament last Thursday, Abdullah said it would allow firms registered with the board to accept an undetermined percentage of equity investment from local or foreign non-registrants. This is necessary to liberalise the sector in view of globalisation, he added.

"(The amendment) is a milestone for us," he said.

The move would enable property valuation firms to go for public listing, said the Board's registrar R Mahaletchumi.
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