August 14, 2009 Friday

Use by-laws to handle condo issues: BCA

I REFER to last Thursday's letter by Mr Henry Ng, 'Update law to deal with recalcitrant condo residents'.

We wish to highlight that the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act provides a legal framework for the management and maintenance of strata properties such as condominiums. The Act, which spells out the duties and obligations of various stakeholders such as the subsidiary proprietor, management corporation, council members and managing agent, is aimed at facilitating self-regulation among these stakeholders who have interests in the well-being of the strata properties.

The Act prescribes a set of by-laws that every management corporation is required to adopt. To enable flexibility and autonomy in the running of strata properties, management corporations are also allowed to make additional by-laws to control and manage the use of common property and the strata lots in the development, and all subsidiary proprietors and occupiers are obliged to comply with these by-laws.

The issue raised by Mr Ng on rules for parking of a second car could be covered in such by-laws. While the management corporation could apply to the court for an order to enforce non-compliance of a by-law or restrain a breach of the by-law, the management corporation is encouraged to resolve such issues with the subsidiary proprietor directly before resorting to court action.

Mr Ng is right to point out that the managing agent can be likened to a contractor or an agent employed by residents to help run the estate, and a managing agent's appointment should be subject to a performance review at every annual general meeting. If a managing agent does not perform satisfactorily, the management corporation has the responsibility to consider terminating his appointment and appointing another in his place.

Hence, while the Act provides a system to facilitate the smooth running and maintenance of strata development, we would like to remind residents living in strata properties to play their part to ensure their estate is maintained and managed properly in the spirit of harmonious communal living.

To find out more about the key provisions on strata living, refer to the guide on Strata Living In Singapore at

Chin Chi Leong

Commissioner of Buildings

Building and Construction Authority