Purpose of Scheme
Strata titled management has become a distinct and established practice in Singapore. Having accumulated more than two decades of experience in this field of practice, there is now an urgent need to consider issues of control and regulation of those who serve as managing agents. The purpose is to enhance the quality and service of performance. This is crucial in the light of the recent spate of media reports on the management of strata titled developments.
The Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV) as well as the Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM) have in the past campaigned for the accreditation of managing agents. Owners and occupants are presently more concerned with and knowledgeable about their property and the living and working environments. The building services and physical structures of newer developments are becoming more sophisticated and complex. Property managers therefore need to be competent and proficient in their work and equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill sets. An accreditation scheme established for managing agents offering services in strata titled management hopes to satisfy these challenges.
Benefits of Accreditation
The community in general would be able to benefit from the quality check provided by the system of accreditation. All accredited MAs are required to adhere to the code of conduct of SISV or APFM and adhere to any code of practice or standards as prescribed. Disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the respective institute’s disciplinary rules.
Accredited firms will identify themselves using the credentials “SISV/APFM Accredited Managing Agents”. The “SISV/APFM Accreditation” will be promoted as a brand name as having achieved certain professional standards of property management. Strata titled developments and condominiums which seek the services of SISV/APFM accredited MAs will be assured of competent services of a reasonable standard.
The proposed accreditation would also bring about closer consultation among the practitioners, the relevant authorities and the property owners.
Another benefit for strata titled developments employing the services of accredited firms is that they can avail themselves of mediation and other dispute resolution services at the SISV Mediation Centre. The purpose of this service is to assist owners and occupants to resolve disputes arising from the management.
Accreditation is granted to firms whose key decision-making management staff are qualified professionals as well as members of the SISV or APFM. Firms whose directors or management are not SISV or APFM members may also apply for accreditation on a case by case basis.
There are two categories of accreditation, Category A and Category B in order of the complexity of the strata titled developments:
- Large commercial properties ie industrial, office, shop or mixed developments with predominantly commercial content and community/institutional buildings, and large-scale residential property developments ie those with more than 150 units.
- Small-scaled residential and commercial property developments ie those with 150 and fewer units.
Firms accredited with A accreditation will be allowed to manage those in B category. However, those firms with a B accreditation will not be allowed to offer services in the A category until they are upgraded to this higher category.
Both categories of accreditation require the firms to have qualified staff trained in recognised estate or building management courses, and have sufficient years of experience in property management, and to satisfactorily pass an interview which tests knowledge in strata titled management and related topics.
An Assessment Panel will be formed to assess the applications of qualified firms for appointment as accredited MAs by examining the documents submitted and conducting interviews. An accredited firm which falls short of the accreditation standards will have its accreditation status withdrawn until the deficiencies have been rectified.
The Assessment Panel comprise representations from professional bodies and senior members of SISV and APFM. The decision of the Assessment Panel will be final.
Enforcement and Dispute Resolution
A Disciplinary Board will be constituted as and when necessary. The main function is to hear complaints about accredited MAs. The decision of the Disciplinary Board shall be final. Mediation will be conducted to resolve any disputes arising from the Scheme before formal hearing of the complaints take place.
The SISV/APFM Accreditation Scheme was introduced on 3 Dec 2003. Applicants may apply at any time for accreditation in the prescribed form. Accreditation is for a period of three years.
Please contact the following:
Janet Han (SISV)