This content is from: Local Insights

Macau: Property management

João Nuno RiquitoRui Filipe Oliveira

The significant economic growth that Macau has witnessed since 2002 with the liberalisation of the gaming industry has put significant pressure on the real estate market. Macau is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, meaning that multi-storey buildings with independent units make up the bulk of its property stock.

In line with the regulatory trend of the real estate market that has been taking place since 2011, the Legislative Assembly is preparing new legislation to regulate the property management industry. With prices soaring over the last ten years, real estate has often become the most valuable asset for families and investors. Adequate building management and maintenance is key to enhancing property value, and to improving the residential and commercial environment. In accordance with the Civil Code, the management and maintenance of the common parts of buildings is the responsibility of the owners, who have the power to appoint one of the owners or a committee of owners to manage the property. Alternatively, they can engage a third party. Given the multi-disciplinary professional knowledge and the time required to manage these properties, management companies play an important and necessary role in achieving an efficient property management.

Property management is one of the sectors in Macau's real estate market that has significant potential for growth. This is not only due to the number of buildings that remain managed by the owners directly, but because there is room for competition and service improvement.

The draft legislation focuses on quality service standards and transparency. The regulatory model proposed is a mandatory single tier universal licensing system with the back-up of a robust disciplinary authority (the Housing Bureau). It aims to enhance the industry's professionalism, financial capacity and conduct. The possibility of a regulatory authority enforcing a minimum standard of rules of conduct will contribute to the owners' awareness of respective rights and to the requisite professional standards, paving the way for quality service demand and increased competition.

João Nuno Riquito and Rui Filipe Oliveira

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