Overview of the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS)
Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme Services (MBIS) are important to property owners who need professional support in ensuring a building standard is legally acceptable. These services involve an inspection by a Registered Inspector and, where required, prescribed repairs to be made by a registered contractor under supervision.
What is the statutory regulation?
First introduced in Hong Kong over 15 years ago, the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS) relates to common parts, external walls and projections or signboards of the buildings. This requirement comes into effect with buildings that were developed 30 or more years ago. The exception is domestic buildings, as long as they are no taller than three storeys.
An important consideration with MBIS is to understand that it essentially covers building components that could threaten public safety if no essential repairs were carried out. The reason for only including these elements is to ensure that property owners are not faced with unreasonable repair costs.
What is the purpose of MBIS?
Inspections are carried out to ensure that any dilapidation is prevented and that a building is considered safe for people to use. Therefore, MBIS is preventative and protective in nature in that regular inspections are adopted to guard against dangerous conditions that could endanger life as well as negatively impact the property itself.
Why was MBIS introduced in Hong Kong?
During the 1960s and 1970s there was an incredible property development boom in Hong Kong. The result is that today there are many buildings standing that are from this era, at risk of falling into disrepair unless legal regulations require a duty of responsibility be put on owners.
Another factor that is an issue is that during this accelerated construction period not all buildings were built to high-quality standards. The result is a real need within Hong Kong to prevent urban decay blighting the landscape or worse.
Is MBIS effective?
Any law that looks after the health and safety of people is positive and there is evidence that MBIS has been effective. One research report found that MBIS has certainly raised awareness of the necessity of building upkeep, while also instilling in property owners a recognition that they need to take responsibility in a legal sense, too.
What MBIS services are offered?
A range of visual inspections and non-destructive tests can be carried out during an evaluation. There is also scope for carrying out more detailed investigations as well.