SECRETARY for Adminis­tration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan said potential property buyers have the responsibility of paying two years’ management arrears of the pre­vious owner in the last resort.
Speaking after the meeting with the second standing committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL), the Secretary said the bill suggests that the agent and notary have to inform potential buyers of information about management arrears by the previous property owner.
In addition, the Secretary revealed that a certain amount of deposit would be requested to be paid by the seller of the property in order to cover future payments for previous arrears.
The deposit, as indicated by the Secretary, would be determined based upon the average amount of arrears.
“If no consensus is reached between the buyer and the seller over the management payment, the seller would be the first person to bear the responsibility,” said the Secretary.
The amendment of the law for the administration and management of the common parts of condominiums is to resolve the issue of delayed management payments.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the second standing committee of the Legislative Assembly, Chan Chak Mo, affirmed that the amended bill added an Article which stated clearly that any management payments that were due prior to the transfer of property ownership would be the responsibility of the previous owner.
Chan indicated that the revised bill requests both property seller and real estate agent to provide a copy of a document to prove the arrears of management fees of the past two years.
However, the government will reframe the part of the bill for cases where properties have been transacted without any agents such as through friends or family members, indicated Chan.
On the other hand, companies or individuals who provide building management services are requested to provide related documents when demanded by a buyer.
With the government insisting on putting the liability on buyers, Chan explained on behalf of the government that the liability is to ensure fairness and protect the interests of the rest of the building owners.
Regarding the responsibility borne by the notary, the new bill suggests the notary include the attached liability on the contracts to the buyer.
According to Chan, the majority of members agreed to the changes of the bill.
The bill will be discussed at the next meeting on June 22, while the chairman of the sub-committee expressed the hope that the bill will be sent for deliberation at the plenary session of the AL by the end of July.