I wish this MP were in Tampines GRC! She raised a lot of points! I like her suggestion that the property agent give owners the same BUSINESS PROPOSAL that they give to the developer-buyer.
Ms Pauline Tay Straughton
This nominated MP talked about the Elderly and the findings of a NUS Research Study showing how collective sales had a negative effect on this vulnerable group resulting in anxiety and health consequences. Her recommendations also include that an en bloc information booklet be published for owners, that the age and state of repair of an estate should be taken into consideration, as is the case in Hong Kong.
The only MP who took a pro-enbloc stand
NOW WE HAVE IT ON RECORD!
Method of distribution report: "prior to signing the CSA, owners can always require the sale committee to provide a report. Owners have the ultimate say, they can ask for what they think is necessary for the process, or for them to participate in the process."
Valuation report: there is no one size fits all solution for the provision of valuation reports to guide owners when they are signing the CSA. Ultimately it depends on their risk appetite and comfort level of different owners. Valuation reports have a shelf life..... hence, it's best to leave it to the owners to jointly decide on the number and frequency of valuations to be carried out. We do not mandate that it should only be given at one point in time, we mandate that it should be given at such a point in time, and at all other points in time it is up to the owners to decide whether they want further valuations at whatever cost is appropriate.
Business proposals: It is best to leave these matters to the owners to request such information if they consider it appropriate. .. At the end of the day, owners are making choices in respect to their properties which involve millions of dollars, you expect them to know what they want, and what sort of safeguards they wish.
Reaffirmation from owners before the award of a sale tender: A sales committee has to act in accordance with the mandate specified in its CSA. It really depends on what mandate is given to the sale committee. If the owners empower the sale committee to make the decision for award of tender within a certain prescribed parameters, without the need for reaffirmation, then it is not the governments position to intercede, and tell the owners how they should run the process. Likewise, there is nothing in the legislation, either in the past or going forward, to prevent owners from specifying that the want the sales committee to seek such reaffirmation from the owners, before the sale tender is awarded. This can be provided in the CSA if the majority wants.
Alas, our own MP did not step up to the plate as hoped, even after she was given valid points to raise. Kudos to the above MPs and non-constituency MPs.
New en bloc rules passed
By Jessica Cheam (ST Online)
At the second reading of the amendment Bill, Mr Shanmugam said it 'represents another step toward refining the en bloc sale regime in Singapore'.
He also told the House that between 2005 and 2009, there were 462 en bloc sales, of which half or 217 had been redeveloped or were being redeveloped.
These 217 projects comprised about 12,000 units but after redevelopment, this number has shot up to more than 26,000 units, he said.
He added that the ministry will continue to review the Act and 'will make further refinements if necessary'.
Suggestions ranged from including the age and state of a building to determine the consent level needed for a sale, to reducing the threshold of owners required to re-start an en bloc sales process. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
NEW rules tightening the collective home sale process were passed on Tuesday, but not before Members of Parliament called for further refinements to the bill.
Suggestions ranged from including the age and state of a building to determine the consent level needed for a sale, to reducing the threshold of owners required to re-start an en bloc sales process.
Addressing the concerns in Parliament, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that the Government's task was to 'protect the interests of all strata unit owners, whether they are pro-sale or anti-sale' and that it should not 'micro-manage the process and prescribe too many requirements'.
Amendments to the Land Titles (Strata) Bill to streamline the en bloc sales process were first unveiled in Parliament last month.
They include a two-year restricted period for owners who attempt an en bloc sale after it failed once; a 60-day period for the Strata Titles Board (STB) to mediate in a sale, failing which it can issue an order to give the parties the option to pursue it in the High Court; and requiring stricter declarations of interests from sales committee members.
The changes will now become law sometime in June after it has been cleared by the President's office.