Bill to Liberalise Property Management Needed, Says Expert
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The proposed changes to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act is necessary as it allows professionals from other related fields to become property managers, said Henry Butcher Malaysia Director Lim Eng Chong.
"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" he told Free Malaysia Today.
"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.â€
Basically, the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (Amendment) Bill 2017 will liberalise property management, explained Huan Cheng Kee, a former Assistant Director-General of the Valuation and Property Services Department.
After the bill is approved by the Parliament, people who aren't eligible but have experience in this type of work can register with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia (BOVAEA).
They will be given a year to show proof to the government that they are capable of being property managers, and they'll be officially recognised as such after they passed the evaluation.
"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" he said.
According to Henry Butcher's Lim, eligible property managers are adept in taxes, valuation, construction, building services, estate management, property and strata law, as well as maintenance and property finance. Besides having the know-how, this profession also has fiduciary duties over liabilities, and their accounts must be regularly audited.
Furthermore, he believes that the proposed amendments would further improve the government oversight over real estate managers and further safeguard the welfare of property owners.
Meanwhile, Huan's statements are in response to PKR MP Wong Chen's allegations last week that the revisions to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act could lead to a crony system, wherein valuers have the power to decide who can become project managers.
Wong noted that there are 1,000 existing valuers in Malaysia, of whom 200 are also serving as project managers, while there are 10,000 people who are purely project managers.
Furthermore, he thinks that the amendments would increase the cost for property tenants and owners. "My office estimates that the entire project management fees of residential, commercial and office buildings amount to RM1.8 billion a year.â€
"We can estimate that this fee may increase by 10 percent to cover the valuers' take. In other words, this legislation could potentially cost the public an additional RM180 million in property management fees" he added.