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Bill to regulate property valuers, managers ‘misunderstood’

Retired government valuer says proposed amendments seek to liberalise property management.
Lim-Eng-Chong-house

Henry Butcher Malaysia director Lim Eng Chong said he agreed with the bill, given the current property management scenario.

PETALING JAYA: A retired government valuer has dismissed concerns over proposed amendments to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act, saying the amendments have been misunderstood.

Last week, PKR’s Wong Chen said the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (Amendment) Bill 2017 sought to regulate two distinctly separate professions: valuers and property managers.

He said valuers deal with property valuation, which rightfully falls under the purview of the finance ministry. On the other hand, property management has to do with the organisation, management and maintenance of buildings, and is under the purview of the urban wellbeing, housing and local government ministry (KKBPKT).

The Kelana Jaya MP added that issues related to strata property management are to a large extent already regulated under the Strata Management Act 2013.

Instead, Wong proposed the introduction of a standalone legislation under the control of KKBPKT that deals with property management.

But Huan Cheng Kee, a former assistant director-general of the valuation and property services department, said Wong had misunderstood the issue.

Huan said property management already comes under the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act and it has been so since 1981 when the act was first introduced.

“But over the years, a lot of people who weren’t qualified property managers got into property management, especially after a property boom.

“These people, who entered the business illegally, eventually gained some experience, but we found that they weren’t doing it properly. In a sense, they had no insurance or code of conduct.”

Huan also pointed out that the Strata Management Act only covered property management of common areas and not entire properties like the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act.

“Essentially, what the government is doing through the amendment is liberalising property management so that those who aren’t qualified but have the experience can register as property managers and join the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA).”

He said those who aren’t qualified will be given a year after the amendment is passed to show proof of their work to the authorities in order to be absorbed into the BOVAEA.

“So there’s no need to worry about valuers forming a cartel, because those with a track record but no qualifications can register, while new property management companies only need to ensure they have the qualifications.”

Other professionals

Meanwhile, Henry Butcher Malaysia director Lim Eng Chong said he agreed with the bill, given the current property management scenario.

“Presently, there are many people who are professionals in other disciplines like engineering or design, who would like to undertake property management even though they are not trained overall as property managers.

“They might know one aspect or a few aspects of property construction or facilities very well, but property management is much more than that. Property management covers a wide, comprehensive range of topics.”

Lim said qualified property managers are trained in construction, taxes, property and strata law, valuation, management, estate management, building services, maintenance and property finance, among others.

Aside from possessing the necessary knowledge, Lim said property managers also have fiduciary duties to cover any liabilities, and must have their accounts audited.

He said the proposed amendments would ensure that property management can be properly monitored for the protection of property owners.

Source : Free Malaysia Today