The coming up of high-rise buildings in Phnom Penh, coupled with the strata titles ownership development there over the years have altered the landscape of property investment and management in the city.
Essentially, how well the strata titles owners co-manage the building such that it remains competitive for rental or resale market in the course of the investment, is one of the key considerations.
Given that, the owners shall therefore collectively adopt a certain standard of maintenance for the building, develop rules for communal living and sharing and most importantly, dutifully pay for the common funds determined.
Some best practices of it and our observation are:
1. Best Practices
(a) Facilities shall be maintained in accordance with the advice laid down in the operational manual in question religiously. In the case of it being misplaced, seek help from the manufacturer.
(b) Conduct pre-emptive repairs or parts replacement, do not wait for problems to arise.
(c) Cleaning, landscape and security services are to be contracted to competent service providers. Save for compelling reasons or professional input, the required manpower and frequency of service are not to be curtailed.
(d) Personal needs services such as leasing, repairs, laundry, delivery, SOS attendance may be made available to residents in the building.
(e) Compliance matters such as inspection, tests or the likes must be strictly complied with. Some international standards of safety (such as weekly water testing, yearly electricity/ fire alarm testing and fire drill etc) though not mandatory in here, should be practiced.
(f) Set up management committee, operating procedures to look into the maintenance needs and long term wellbeing of the property.
(g) Set up common maintenance and contingency funds, collection and control procedures thereof. (h) Engage professional property management firm to render advice and services.
2 .Correct Mind Set
(a) Correct thinking will support and sustain best practices. Very often, property owners curtailed the manpower or frequency of service of a maintenance contract half way through, reject a proposed increase in maintenance contribution for “cost cutting”. Sadly, this downgrades the quality of the building quickly and results in a greater loss.
(b) Correct mindset of the people to comply with rules and cooperate with the management is also important. This will help enhance the name of the building.
3. Statutory Provisions
In Singapore, the relevant statutory provisions make management fund and sinking fund contribution mandatory, allows recovery actions of it to the point of a forced sale of the property in question. Some other breaches of the laws will result in it being fined or jailed. In any country or system, this is imperative as it ensures satisfactory compliance.
Observation and expectation.
Strata titles property ownership is very new here, many of the concepts have not been taken shape. In the absence of a legislation, the implementation of standard practices may be challenging, let alone adopting the best practices.
However, given the encouraging foreign investment and progress here, we are certain that a state of the art strata titles property management system will firm up and even on statutory footing in a not distant future.
Meanwhile, we continue our sharing of best practices and experiences with the property owners and take effective steps to moderate some of the not so desirable practices here in our bid to prepare them for the new order.
By Benny Tan: Principal Consultant, Raffles Strata Management (Cambodia) Pte Ltd; firstname.lastname@example.org