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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Homeowners spend 7.4pc of income on management fees: Consumer Council

Homeowners spend 7.4pc of income on management fees: Consumer Council

The monthly management fees paid by Hong Kong private homeowners ranged from HK$200 to HK$3,700, about 7.4 percent of their monthly household income on average, the consumer watchdog said Thursday.
According to the study conducted by the Consumer Council regarding private residential property management fees, the average management fee level is HK$1,108 per month or around HK$2.7 per square foot.

Around 23 percent of the owners considered the level unreasonable

Moreover, the Council received 694 complaints concerning property management services from 2012 to 2022, which involved a total amount of HK$393 million. Nearly half of them (49.3 percent) related to pricing and charge disputes, while 43 percent were about the quality of services.

There were also gaps in the level of satisfaction with property management services as the management companies regarded themselves as meeting 71.4 percent or even 100 percent of the target in most areas, while owners and owners organizations graded only 43.7 percent to 65.9 percent of the property management companies meeting the expected requirements.

The study recommended the Property Management Services Authority consider developing a reference database for the public by collating information on the levels of management fees across Hong Kong.

It also suggested boosting the transparency on the basis upon which property management fees are shared between owners, as the information about undivided shares and management shares to prospective purchasers prior to their purchase decision is crucial to minimizing future misunderstandings and disputes.

Drawing reference from the experience in the mainland and Singapore, the Council calls for a relaxation of the requirement of unanimous consent, such as by amending the Building Management Ordinance to allow amendment of the terms in a deed of mutual covenant by majority consent of owners, except for terms relating to the allocation of undivided shares.

It suggests taking 75 percent of undivided shares as a reference point in determining what should amount to majority consent for the purpose of amending the terms of a deed of mutual covenant in order to promote fairness.
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