The Property Management Services Authority (PMSA) announced today that since the implementation of the property management (PM) industry licensing regime from 1 August 2020, nearly 11,000 property management practitioner (PMP) licences have been issued; whereby formal licences account for 67% while provisional licences account for 33%. Over 500 property management companies (PMCs) have applied for licence, with over 300 successfully licensed.
In accordance with the requirement stipulated in the Property Management Services Ordinance (Cap. 626), the PMSA will publish in the Gazette tomorrow (17 February 2023) the list of licensees as of 31 January 2023 under the licensing regime.
The three-year transitional period under the licensing regime will end in less than six months (up to 31 July 2023). The vetting process for a PMC’s licence application is more detailed (e.g. verifying the number of flats in each property managed by the PMC against the relevant deed of mutual covenant and confirming that sufficient licensed PMPs are engaged in order to meet the minimum manning ratio licensing criteria, etc.). To ensure PMCs which have already submitted licence application and have met all criteria could be licensed smoothly before the end of the transitional period, the PMSA has formed a task force to provide dedicated licensing services. The task force has also begun to proactively visit some PMCs and help them on site to prepare the documents and information required for their licence application so that the licensing process can be completed soonest possible and the PMCs concerned could successfully obtain licence.
On the other hand, in order to facilitate provisional PMP licence holders to acquire formal PMP licence earliest possible, the PMSA strives to offer simple arrangements for formal licence application. Currently, provisional PMP licence holders have to provide graduation certificate of the PMSA Specified Course (Specified Course) when applying for formal licence. To further streamline the application process, the PMSA will accept any other proof of completion of Specified Course. In other words, provisional PMP licence holders do not need to wait for the graduation certificate to be awarded and can immediately apply for formal licence once they have completed the Specified Course. In addition, the PMSA has already simplified earlier the application form for provisional PMP licence holders applying for formal licence so as to minimize the information / documents required for submission / completion of the form, thus streamlining the application process.
Chairperson of the PMSA Dr James WONG said, “The transitional period of the PM industry licensing regime has entered the final countdown phase and the industry has strengthened its momentum to obtain licence. In view of the substantial number of PMCs and PMPs in the industry, licence applications have to be staggered orderly so that all application processes and licensing work can be completed in time before the end of the transitional period. The PMSA wishes to appeal again to PMCs which have yet to submit licence application that they should promptly initiate the application process at the latest by May this year. If PMCs submit applications in June/July this year (i.e. very close to the end of the transitional period), the PMSA cannot guarantee the issue of licence by 31 July before the transitional period ends. Such PMCs shall have to face the risk of not being able to comply with the law, thereby not being able to continue to provide PM services after the transitional period.”
Through the PMSA PMC licence application hotline (3696 1157), PMCs can reserve a suitable timeslot for submitting licence application from now till the end of May 2023, thus enabling PMCs to apply for licence orderly so that they could obtain licence in accordance with the law and continue to provide professional PM services seamlessly after the transitional period.
Under the PM industry licensing regime, all PMCs providing properties subject to deeds of mutual covenant with more than one category of prescribed PM services, as well as PMPs serving managerial or supervisory roles in such PMCs to provide PM services, must hold valid PM licence starting from 1 August 2023 in order to continue to provide PM services in accordance with the law. A PMC required to be licensed cannot act as a PMC if it does not possess a valid PMC licence. A party which contravenes the above provision is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for two years.
Ends/Thursday, 16 February 2023
Issued at HKT 14:30