Singapore – After publishing Singapore’s first guide to strata management in 2012, a second edition was never on the horizon for Teo Poh Siang. The veteran property manager spent years penning down his experiences and crafting them into comprehensive insights on both technical statutory requirements and practical knowledge sharing.
2020 is a different world. With revisions to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA) on 1 February 2019, rising expectations from stakeholders, increasing cost of living, and the Covid-19 pandemic, strata managers need to be more productive and resourceful than ever.
“A Practical Guide to Strata Management in Singapore (Second Edition)” is written to help managing agents (MAs), strata managers, developers, residents and council members find stable footing in a dynamic industry. Covering operations management to the recommendation of standard operating procedures that could help to prevent pitfalls, the guide acts as a reference point for the strata community in Singapore for the years to come.
“The common challenge encountered by any strata practitioner is finding information on what, when and how to manage a typical strata development. The information is available, but in different legislations, different books, different agencies, different trades and in different sources. Even when a particular source is found, the time required to go through the content could be discouraging,” Mr Teo observes.
The guide presents a substantial section on the changes to the BMSMA that include the definition of common property and implications of safety devices at the private enclosed space (PES).
Sections on the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and Strata Titles Board (STB) are added to help practitioners understand the legal guidelines in place. These are useful for adopting proper data protection policy and mitigating legal disputes that are costly and time consuming.
Expertise Through Case Studies
The book draws on specific and relevant provisions from more than 30 legislations and code of practices, on top of 75 case studies. Gleaning insights from Mr Teo’s views and practical tips drawn from decades of experience, strata practitioners will be assisted in various aspects of their work.
Some key learning points referenced from incidents include:
No water supply in the fire-fighting system during an emergency
• Parc Palais (2010): The caps of the hydrant in Parc Palais were alleged to be so tight that firemen were forced to use the hydrants from the main road to fight a fire in the estate
• Block 210A Bukit Batok Street 21 (2019): Even after fire fighters broke one of the padlocks, they were still unable to use the fire hose reel because there was no water supply. The fire was eventually extinguished with water from the SCDF emergency vehicles.
Proper financial management
• West Bay Condominium (2009): A 30-year-old employee of an MA was found guilty of forgery of cheque signatories when he allegedly siphoned about SGD1.5 million from West Bay Condominium over a period of 18 months
• A waterproofing contractor (2016) was alleged to have awarded 10% of the contract value for contracts the company secured as referral fees to staff of MC staff and/or facilities management staff. The Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) (2020) reported that a strata manager was sentenced to a fine of SGD2,500 and an additional penalty of SGD1,500 for allegedly assisting a cleaning company in securing a contract in a condominium in return for a loan. Without proper procurement processes in place, building maintenance work can easily be turned into an area of concern for corruption-related offences.
Consent for personal data collection not needed during an emergency
• During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, some visitors challenged the collection of their personal data during temperature screenings and contact tracing procedures, including travel declarations for visitors to their estates or buildings. However, any organisation is empowered to collect, use and disclose personal data of anyone in response to an emergency that threatens the life, health or safety of the individual or another individual.
Both first and second editions of the book have been endorsed by leading industry players, including Professor Joseph Ooi, President, International Real Estate Society and Vice-Dean (Academic), School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, who says that he “would recommend A Practical Guide to Strata Management in Singapore (Second Edition) to developers, residents and council members of strata developments as a comprehensive reference guide.”
“This book is a gem to strata managers as it contains many practical tips and insights from a guru in strata management who has walked the talk,” he adds.
Besides the practical sharing of knowledge, Mr Teo also hopes that his endeavours to provide resources for practitioners will result in more success stories of MAs and strata managers to be shared, so the industry will move forward together as a whole.
“With the new accreditation scheme coming into operation, it is also my earnest desire that practitioners take this opportunity to upskill and promote strata management to a higher level of professionalism,” Mr Teo concludes.
A Practical Guide to Strata Management in Singapore (Second Edition) will be launched on 11 November 2020 at all major bookstores. An E-Book version will be available at major E-Bookstores in February 2021. The book retails at SGD30.00 before GST.
For more information about the book, please visit: www.wisely98.com/publication/highlights.
To request for copies or to arrange for interviews with the author, please contact Say Hua at sayhua ( @ ) affluencepr dot com or +65 9668 4605 dot
About the Author, Teo Poh Siang
Teo Poh Siang is the founding managing director of Wisely 98 Pte Ltd.
He graduated with a Diploma in Build¬ing Maintenance & Management from Ngee Ann Poly¬technic in 1982 under a Ngee Ann Kongsi Scholarship. An avid lifelong learner, he continued to pursue his aca-demic studies on a part-time basis and went on to obtain a Diploma in Market¬ing Management from Ngee Ann Poly¬technic; Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK); and Bachelor of Real Estate (Valuation) Honours from the National University of Singa¬pore.
Poh Siang is often invited to speak at local, regional and international conferences and seminars. He contributes his expertise as an adjunct lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic.
He serves a leadership position at the Association of Strata Managers, a national association for strata managers. Poh Siang is also a member of the School of Architecture & the Built Environment Advisory Committee at Singapore Polytechnic. He was conferred the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the President of the Republic of Singapore for outstanding community service in 1998.
Issued on behalf of Wisely98 Pte Ltd by Affluence Public Relations.
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Lee Say Hua
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