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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.

Ministry of Law in denial again

Enbloc panels already have a lifetime
Straits Times – 28 Jan 2010
'Ms Prior suggests that a collective sale committee should have a limited lifespan. This is already provided for in the Land Titles (Strata) Act. The committee will automatically dissolve on expiry of the collective sale agreement. The agreement will expire if the requisite consent level is not attained within 12 months from the date of the first signatory.'

Is the Ministry of law telling the whole story here? There are two possible avenues by which the sale committee can extend their lifespan - before and after the signature collection.

1) Before the signature collection begins.
They can delay starting the process for months or even years.* The sale committee members, who were duly elected at the AGM for that purpose, can resign at any time, and their positions either left vacant or filled by others who are neither elected nor vetted by the owners. The LTSA on this matter is shambolic (especially Paragraph 10, Third Schedule  which nullifies most of what went before it!)

  *The LTSA Amendments 2010 have limited this initial period to 12 months - which is exceedingly generous of them and ridiculously long. Why would they need to delay their signature collection and keep the estate on tenterhooks? They are merely holding on to their positions and can sign on the last day to extnd their tenure by another 12 months. If the MInLAw wanted to shorten the time-frame for a collective sale - they could have started here.

2) After the 80% has been reached but there's no sale:
Once the sales committee has reached the 80% mark they then can have an extended tenure - thanks to a recent high court ruling (see Koon Seng House).* Should the SC fail to secure a buyer they need not be disbanded, as the legislation suggests. Instead, all they have to do is collectively sign a SUPPLEMENTAL CSA lowering the reserve price and they have a FRESH 12 months to get another 80% approval! 12 + 12
Then they have ANOTHER 12 months after that to secure a buyer and make an application for sale to the STB (12 + 12 + 12). 

This supplemental CSA is considered a new agreement. Of course, if the CSA can be renewed in this way, it is only logical that the SC tenure is renewed along with it.
The high court judge did not stipulate by how much the majority owners could lower the reserve price - so theoretically it could be by just $1.00.

And there is no limit to the number of supplemental agreements the majority can sign
And what about supplemental agreements changing other clauses in the CSA? What's the word on that?

This is another way the majority can circumvent the time frames and keep the estate in perpetual en bloc mode. Whatever happened to the process being finite? Can 'forever' even be considered a time-frame at all!

I ask the Minister of Law - is this fair?

*The LTSA Amendments 2010 have not made it a 'relevent event' when a buyer cannot be found within the time-frame - opening the door for the CSA and SC's continuance.

3 comments:

  1. Hi. Alfred here. I was just wondering why nobody thought of getting a petition signed and present it up to the relavent authorities. Single voices thru the newspapers did nothing good. Usual standard replies etc etc. You can lead since you been in the front line before and came out very much stronger. And most probably you will have contacts from other condos that had gone thru the enbloc saga and wanted to see the gov doing more than lip service. You will know where the loop holes are, (your articles here shows), and what should be done about it. We the minority only want fair play. Better early than later.

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  2. I will sign one- but as a PR, I won't start one. :)

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  3. Alfred,
    A Clementi Park resident has started a petition going - you can email their blog for details. it is an emotional appeal to the PM - not my cup of tea I am afraid.

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