The Hong Kong Institute of Housing Suggests the Government Taking into Consideration the Opinions from Owners' Incorporations and Professional Property Managers when Processing License Applications from Guesthouses

PR Newswire

HONG KONG, Dec. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The fire at King's Road's Continental Mansion in North Point has aroused vigorous discussions over the licensing regulations of guesthouses lately. The Hong Kong Institute of Housing ("HKIH") highly recommends the Government taking into account the opinions from the Owners' Incorporations ("OI") and their respective professional property manager for the guesthouse license applications besides just satisfying the relevant authorities' laws and regulations. This will then help guarantee the safety of the residents and avoid contradicting the Deed of Mutual Covenants (DMC) of the buildings.

The prevailing licensing regulation requires the property or the guesthouses to fully comply with related fire safety and building regulations. Such requirements strictly govern the number of guests allowed, fire safety equipment installed and also the available fire exits and corridors. Licenses will be granted when all these requirements are fulfilled. Yet, HKIH recommends the Government taking into consideration the concerns of OIs, which fully reflect the views of their residents, and also the professional advice from the property manager with regard to the DMCs and the daily operation of the buildings. All these will then conclude a full judgment to safeguard lives and properties of all residents in the guesthouse license applications.

In case of breach of the DMC, the professional property manager will inform relevant government authority and recommend the OI on possible follow up actions. With the launch of property manager licensing regime by the Government in the near future, property management professionals can provide professional advices to owners and tenants more effectively. With proper allocation of government resources and better use of the resources of the community at large, conflicts can be dealt with in a timely manner to avoid any fatal incidents.

Ms Cora YUEN, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Housing said, "HKIH believes opinions from owners of the building should carry more weight in the process of defining what is best for the sake of safety as they are legitimate and important stakeholders of the building. Likewise, professional knowledge of property management personnels or companies with regard to the DMC of the building as well as its daily operation is also valuable. Buildings are built to provide a safe living environment to the residents. The Government shall be more attentive to the concerns of residents and the advice from the property managers. If no or less illegal structure or operation takes place at the beginning, the Government could save much effort in eliminating the problems afterwards. Thus, it produces a truly win-win situation for all."

About The Hong Kong Institute of Housing

The Hong Kong Institute of Housing was incorporated in Hong Kong on 29 November 1988. As at Dec 2013, HKIH has around 2,800 members. Together, HKIH's members are responsible for the management of not less than 70% of all the housing stock in Hong Kong. Members are engaged in the co-ordination and execution of housing services incorporating the design, provision, improvement, rehabilitation, management and administration of all types of housing. Apart from actively expanding local network, HKIH is forging close links with property management associations and academic institutions in Taiwan, Macau and many parts of mainland China. For more information, please visit The Hong Kong Institute of Housing website: http://www.housing.org.hk

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