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"I am a BLOGGER NOT an expert. This is a BLOG not a 'go-to' website for official information. I represent no one's view save my own. I have neither legal nor financial training, nor do I have anything to do with the real estate industry. My understanding of the Collective Sale Process is from a layman's position only. My calculations, computations and tables are homespun and may contain errors. Please note that nothing in this blog constitutes any legal or financial advice to anyone reading it. You should refer to your lawyer, CSC or financial adviser for expert advice before making any decision. This disclaimer is applicable to every post and comment on the blog. Read at your own risk."
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There is one thing worse than an Enbloc ----- and that is an Enbloc done badly. Since the majority have the necessary mandate to sell, then they owe it to all SPs to make a success of it. Minority SPs can only watch and wait, if they sell then lets pray it's at a price we can move on with, if they don't sell, then we are happy to stay for a few more years.

An "Owners View" posted on the property agent's blog

A letter has been posted on the property agent's blog (link on the menu =>). Since I cannot reply directly on their blog (no comments allowed, strictly one way) I shall do so here:-
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UPDATE: 15 July - just noticed they have enabled their 'comments' status on their blog. Will they publish my rebuttal?
My comments are in RED
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I am an owner in Tampines Court and would like to raise my views on the misleading facts happening in my estate by the minority owners on the following:
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This owner's letter is actually the email sent to selective majority owners by the en bloc lawyer entitled "Majority Owners STB Update 30-06-2008".
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"The developer buyer will NOT EXTEND the Sales and Purchase Agreement.
The enbloc sale of Tampines Court is dead if the STB does not approve the sale by the 24 July 2008. Wonders will never cease!
This is still true (typo 25 July)
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"My view: The STB heard the case from 16th to 18th June 2008. At the end of the hearing, two more witnesses had yet to be cross-examined.
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True at the time of emailing but now no longer true;
The SC now want to expedite the process and dispense with the necessity of having a full and fair Hearing by -
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a) withdrawing its last witness, who happens to be the Chairman of the SC;
b) dispensing with the cross-examination of the minority witnesses save for a 'brief cross-examination' of one
c) making brief oral submissions
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UPDATE: 04 July: Now they want to dispense with cross examination of the minority witness altogether and go straight to submissions! Do I sense panic? (Source: email from en bloc lawyer to STB 04 July 2008)
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UPDATE TO UPDATE: 14 July. (Source: in letter from Counsel for majority addressed to STB 14 July). Looks like they want to cross examine the lone minority witness again.
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UPDATE TO LAST UPDATE: 15 July. (OS 941 2008/P); Back to square 1 with the Chairman of the SC up for cross examination, and Applicants cross examination of the lone minority witness.
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The objectors had also raised the issue that the unused beta sum should be distributed amongst all owners. The sale committee agreed that the unused beta sum would be so distributed.
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There was a serious flaw in the Beta Sum distribution method. An unfair method of distribution is a pretty potent point of contention and the sale might not go through by using the original method. That's why the SC had to scramble and go back to the Buyer to get an amendment, who initially agreed with a condition but later retracted. It was then discussed on June 23rd in chambers. The application was withdrawn and so there is no change to the method of distribution of the Beta Sum. Regardless of how the SC would like to distribute it now, the buyer doesn't want to amend and so they are stuck with it (unless they make another application to amend, which they have not done).
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The STB has fixed 7th Aug 2008 for the continued hearing. It is estimated that only one more day would be needed to complete the cross-examination of these two witnesses.
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The SC are flip-flopping on whether they are going to cross examine anyone. (14 July). Well, if cross-examination of witnesses is considered a waste of time - what, pray tell, is a Hearing for?
This is what another independent minority owner had to say in their objection to the STB about the applicant's wish for a speedy end to the hearing. (I hope they don't mind me quoting them):
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"The applicants may choose to conduct their case at breakneck speed if they so wish. But I would request that I be granted my day in Court (which I have so far) and sufficient time to prepare my written submissions."
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The sale committee endeavoured to obtain an extension of the 25th July 2008 deadline from the Purchaser. At the moment, [the buyer] has reverted to say that they are not minded to agree to the extension.
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True. They endeavoured but failed. Not minded to agree means they don't agree. It is astounding how many people actually read 'not minded to agree' as 'they don't mind agreeing'!!! The English language can be a bit tricky sometimes. May I add that the decision to extend has to be mutual. If one side backs out then that's it. The decision to bring the date forward was decided unilaterally by the SC in order to force the sale through before the expiry.
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The sale committee has applied to the STB this morning for the hearing date to be brought forward. This application is being closely monitored.
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True And I can further add that the minority has handed in their official objection to the said application. Two independent minority owners have done the same, stating their own objections. Nothing has been decided about the issue as yet. All five panel members have to agree to a new date - and that is not an easy matter as they have to fit it in with their busy personal schedules.
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I believe the Sale Committee will update the majority owners on the development.
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The question is when? - after the STB decides on the matter or before? I hope they do it sooner rather than later and in plain English so everyone can understand. Better yet, have a meeting! One year of silence is quite enough.
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I will correct a piece of information put up by the objectors on their blogsite. [the buyer] obtained the Residential Property Approval (the RPA approval) on 25th July 2007 and served it on our lawyers on 26th July 2007.
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My apologies, that was way back in the "Facts about TC". At the time of posting, I was using a letter sent by the Chairman of the SC dated 23rd Oct 2007 as my source. In it he outlined the sequence of events:
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10th July 2007 - Qualified Certificate (RPA) In-principle Approval.
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You can see the letter for yourself in my 25 Oct Post - I scanned it in at the time.
So, maybe you should scold him for spreading this piece of misinformation to the owners!
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It was only at the STB mediation that I picked up the correct date as being 25 July when the enbloc lawyer answered a panel member's question about the date of expiry.
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At that time, the STB of Gillman Heights was being fought in the STB. The STB dismissed this argument in the Gillman Height decision on 21 December 2007.
The Tampines Court advertisements appeared 6 days later, on 27th December 2007.
The STB application was filed on 7th January 2008.
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It is therefore not correct to say that the STB application was not filed for 9 months.
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80%: 21 Jan 2007
Sale: March 25th 2007
Application: Jan 7th 2008 -
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I still count 9 months from date of sale
I count 11+ months from the purported 80% threshold
Which is to be used?
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By LTSA rules, the SC has 1 year to get the 80% and a further 1 year to make an application to the STB. The time frames may overlap. They had the luxury of time (1 year [to Jan 08] + 6 months [ 25 July 08] ) and they spent it unwisely and now they have to face the music.
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UPDATE (15 July): their argument at the STB was that they could only have applied after 26 July, when the in-principle RPA was issued - so they therefore delayed by only 5 months.
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I respect the objectors' point of views.
Mutual and I prove this by posting them on my blog. Pity it's not reciprocated.
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Throughout this exercise, before the STB, special efforts were made to try and engage the objectors in a constructive manner.
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It was the minority who made a special effort to mediate by requesting and receiving an extra day of mediation (day 3) and it was the Sale Committee that strenuously objected! As it was a case of 'one hand clapping', nothing constructive happened
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There were many dialogues.
All dialogues were before Aug 2006. There were none one for 7 months prior to the sale and none since July 2007 (one year ago).
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Moreover, even at the STB stage, when the objectors for the first time raised the issue of the distribution of the unused beta sum, the sale committee agreed that the unused sum should be shared by all.
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They had to agree, it was a case of do or die. But, alas, the buyer does not. The minority objections have not been discussed on this blog (intentionally, as why let them know beforehand what we were thinking?), they were raised openly for the first time at the STB. They should have known their beta sum was going to be their Achiles heel.
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However, this was objected to as well.
There are other grounds on which to object
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It is incorrect to say that the unpaid maintenance and sinking funds contributions would be paid from the beta sum. The beta sum is utilised for the privatisation cost.
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Unpaid privatisation costs and the interest due on the outstanding balance may be paid for by the Beta Sum. I stand corrected on the other MCST debts; for the moment. An incomplete computation for Beta claims has been submitted at the STB
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UPDATE 2008: MCST DEBT WAS INDEED ADDED TO THE PRIVATISATION DEBT - SOME OWNERS WHO HAD STOPPED PAYING THEIR MAINTENANCE AND SINKING FUND CONTRIBUTIONS WOULD HAVE HAD THEM COVERED BY THE BETA.
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It is hoped that this information would be corrected as well.
If it is wrong, I will make all necessary corrections. All along, I have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible. It is only now, at the STB that I have the full documentation and only wish I could put it all up for everyone to see. Alas, being at the STB is the very reason I hold back and must let due process take its course.
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a) I put up a post about the buyer refusing to extend the S&P only after the SC appeared in the void decks scrabbling for signatures.
b) I talked about the Beta sum only after the en bloc lawyer sent a letter to selective majority owners with incomplete information. They had conveniently left out the part where they had indemnified the buyers "against loss, claims etc"! Indemnified the buyers! What are we, millionaires?
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The majority owners have been largely left in the dark and the minority are the only ones who have struggled this past year to get to the bottom of things. When you start from behind, there is a lot of catching up to do. We are stride for stride now and heading for a photo finish.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous03 July, 2008

    If The sale committee has applied to the STB this morning for the hearing date to be brought forward. How is that we the majority are not aware of it. Is it exclusive to certain majority?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous03 July, 2008

    I refer to your statement"off the bat,I see that some owners are reimbursed a lot more than $19,666.
    Are you referring to privatisation cost that each unit paid for the strata title? If it is,how come I didn't get any reimbursement?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reimbursed is the wrong word - I should have said their costs were covered (paid for) by the Beta Sum.

    Only those people who have OUTSTANDING privatisation costs (ie the amount they haven't paid + interest)AND who don't have enough cash to pay this debt after deducting their mortgage and CPF from the sale price may be covered.

    Simplified example (A):
    Sale price: $702K
    deduct-
    Bank: $400k
    CPF:$450k
    = $0 ($148k CPF loss unrecoverable)

    Outst MCST priv cost:$22k
    =>Owner can get $22k from Beta sum

    Simplified example (B):
    Sale price: $702k
    deduct:
    Bank: $100k
    CPF: $500k
    = $102k cash
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    Enough cash to pay outstanding privatisation cost so this hypothetical owner will not get $22k from Beta.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous04 July, 2008

    Beta Sum Distribution.

    During the collection and signing of CSA,beta sum was not in its clause and upon securing the deal, beta sum surface and its sound good to come out with Beta sum to help out those who really facing hardship to pay their outstanding privatisation cost with no entitlement of sharing the unused beta sum.Now SC without all majority agree that the unused beta sum to share among ALL owners.

    Is it right or fair for the SC to agree with it without the consenses of all Majority and/or SP.

    They should get the approval of all majority consenses.

    It is not fair for the SC to exercise thier legality right that has been given to them in good faith.

    Tampines court is sold at 395millions and not 405 millions.

    ReplyDelete