Disclaimer






"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.

First EGM and SALE COMMITTEE

Date: 29 Jan 2011

QUORUM: 47% at 2.30pm :

Meeting opened.

Resolution 1: to consider and approve a collective sale of Tampines Court

YES: 956 by share value (239 units)
NO:  156 by share value (39 units)
Motion was passed
(Total number of units in TC: 560)

Nomination of sale committee members. Quite a number put their names forward and so it was decided that each candidate should take the floor for 5 minutes to introduce themselves and take questions from owners.

Now obviously I cannot name names on this blog, so in completely random order, here is what I gleaned.  Now, I do not take good notes on the hoof - so I WILL AMEND if need be later on.


Opinion
There were strong objections from the floor about a SP questioning candidates about the nature and extent of their ownership in the estate and elsewhere.  People seemed to think we should be more trusting of these total strangers who would be attempting to sell each and every unit in the estate. Obviously they have never read our Minister of Law's speech at the Second reading of the LTSA amendment Bill 2010. All the candidates answered when asked save one who refused - which raises suspicions in my ever suspicious mind.  A would-be SC member showing scant regard to the rules or worse, doesn't  know the rules.
But the questioning continued anyway and I wish now, it had been even more probing. 

Having 4 property agents on the committee is 3 too many.  I have no objection whatsoever to our own long-time resident property agent (L). But the rest! Just look at their form - one of them I can only describe as a battle-axe!! This is NOT good for Tampines Court. They might dominate the sale committee. I hope the other sale committee members can compete and hopefully not give them the chairmanship.

6 out of the 12 are new owners and to me that spells trouble - I am banking on the bankers  and financial guy to do the math, the businessmen to bring in know-how,  the 6  real TC owners who have been through round 1 to inject some wisdom. A lot rides on these real TC owners.

I despair at the lack of other professionals such as engineers, architects, lawyers. This is not a well balanced committee. 

But so be it.

The floor were never told if any of the candidates were undischarged bankrupts or in arrears to the MCST - because the managing agent did not ask them to declare.  It was done only after the meeting had ended and everyone had gone home  and only because this blogger complained about the omission.

The disclosures of units owned fully or jointly should have been made voluntarily  a as well as the nature and extent of associates' ownership in the estate - indeed, it is a requirement of the candidates to do so in the LTSA (new rules) - and not left to a sole owner working against the crowd to pry out such details. One grumpy old man even came up to me after the meeting and told me I was a troublemaker! 

The managing agent did not apply the rules properly nor the penalties for non-disclosure. 

No powers were given to the sale committee because well, there was no resolution to do so.  The 'Power, Duties or Functions' portion of the motion was deemed irrelevant by the managing agent, who took it upon himself to rewrite the rules. The sale committee has therefore been sent on it's merry way without any direction from the owners. Whatever they instruct the lawyers to write in the CSA will be all their own invention. Owners will be tasked to catch the horse after it has bolted at the CSA EOGM. 

By then, perhaps the other half of Tampines Court will wake up and ATTEND! 

A word to any SC member who might read this blog - READ MORE WIDELY . Also remember, you have not been appointed to represent the pro-enbloc / consenting owners only.

Feb 15, 2011

En bloc interest: Law requires conflict of interest declaration

MS GRACE Francis suggested that those interested in running for office in an estate declare non-conflict of interest ("En bloc roadblocks"; last Thursday).
With the amendments to the Land Titles (Strata) Act in 2010, candidates standing for election to the collective sale committee (CSC) and any existing CSC members are required to declare any conflict of interest. This includes any direct or indirect interest in entities such as property developer and property consultant, and the extent of ownership they or persons connected to them (such as immediate family members) have in the strata development.
Ms Francis also commented that there are pro-en bloc residents who join the estate's management corporation (MC) council and oppose attempts to improve the estate.
Under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act, the MC council is duty-bound to ensure that the estate is well-maintained and kept in a state of good and serviceable repair.
Should the MC council fail to perform its duties, subsidiary proprietors/owners can seek redress through the Strata Titles Boards or the court to compel the MC council to perform its duties.
Chong Wan Yieng (Ms)
Director
Corporate Communications Division
Ministry of Law

35 comments:

  1. There were also 16 spoilt votes, making a total of 294 voted. We can still nominate and elect in another 2 more to make it a max of 14 and a more balance committee in the next EOGM.

    For those who remain objectors, please note: You can still be in the SC until an application to STB after which you have to withdraw/resign/disqualify from SC as only those who sign the CSA can remain in SC. At least the interest of the minority is looked after until then.

    At the next EOGM, the motion put up should be:

    1. To propose a few poosibilities of RP and elect the desired Reserve Price.

    2. To propose and approve a property consultant

    3. To propose and approve a solicitor

    4. To approve the main terms of T n C of CSA
    as presented by selected solicitor;
    a. Rent-free period
    b. re-affirmation EGM
    c. method of sale
    d. Apportionment of $
    e. Others

    ReplyDelete
  2. You seems to be quite knowledgeable. Why don't you join in the SC ?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nope.

    Yesterday, people stood up and said the most ridiculous things -

    'owners can't question the candidates' (of course they can, our Minister of Law has said so)

    'an owners should be limited in the number of questions they can ask' (Huh, owners are free to ask as many questions as they see fit)

    'an owner not for the sale can't sit on the SC' (again, it is in the LTSA that such an owner CAN sit on the SC)

    They showed a shockingly poor knowledge of what is permitted - and these are the vocal pushers.

    It's like banging your head against a wall.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, i strongly believe our residents should be more discerning about who to be on the SC. Many seem to have a bo chup attitude, all they want is the money. But that should not be the way. Its about getting what is best for the majority of the residents. I have my doubts about some of the members particularly the battle axe.

    (rest of comment deleted by itshometome, just to be safe)

    ReplyDelete
  5. FYI
    . minutes of SC meeting must be published 7 days after every meeting
    . you have chances to influence the other residents during the EOGMs on reserve price, apportionment and CSA terms.
    . independent valuation report prevents TC from being sold below valuation.
    . the CSA will be sent to you 2 weeks before the meeting. you can seek independent legal advice on the CSA and bring up any issues during EOGM. You have this opportunity to influence the rest.
    . 80% must agree with the SC for the enbloc to go thru
    . lawyer must be present when u sign the CSA. you can clarify any issues with them

    after all this, it is up to TC residents to decide whether to sign or not. If 80% still sign, so be it.

    actually you still can go to the STB or high court if you have proof of any irregularties in the process.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am not a resident of TC. Owners should rigorously grill those who stood for election in the SC - it is the sacred right of owners. Looking at so many agents in it, means they are out to push the sale, come what may. Please be more discerning, people are selling your property.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What is wrong with property agents in the SC, even if there is more than one?

    Most important is they are willing to serve, without benefits of course. If there are ulterior motives, they are also applicable to other professions. They are also not in the same co. Anyway they have to post their declaration of no peculiary interest onto notice boards.

    When one is selected with a mandate of more than 51%, lets respect the SPs decisions instead of replaying the old records of Rd 1.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ah yes, the selfless volunteer argument raises it's head. I was wondering when someone would bring that load of rubbish up.

    The more info I can put out the better people can draw their own conclusions. If you are a PA yourself, or are married to one, you feel obliged to defend the profession, that is understandable.

    As for the 50+1% ; I may have to live with their decision, but I don't have to respect it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We're in the News:
    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1107753/1/.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think the more PA in the SC, the better. Then they will fight amongst themselves on who's Agency will get the Sales Agent status, and maybe the fight will do the Minority good. I love infighting. Also, is it true that they had this inkling that the RP is around $1.2 mil? I heard one person was saying it this morning. If this is the RP they want to put up, then alot of us will make a lot of noise.

    ReplyDelete
  11. TC En-bloc is heading for trouble after the proceedings on Sat. (Just to make it clear, I am not against the en-bloc provided the process is done properly)

    I'll pose some questions, you derive your own conclusions.

    1. The people driving the En-bloc process did were not nominated into the SC, although she was VERY vocal at the EOGM, do you know why?

    2. (deleted)

    3. Why did she try very hard to push 10 of her candidates up into the SC with a max of 14? To drown out whoever else in the SC who is not in the same boat?

    4. Are SC members really just Facilitators only? Have the powers and duties been discussed at the EOGM? TC, you've just lost your home keys. Do you know that facilitators can skew the reports their way, so that during the next EOGM every thing looks good? Once bitten twice shy, READ and UNDERSTAND before you SIGN!

    5. She stood up a few times to stop residents from asking some questions especially to do with 'flippers'. But when the nominated candidates who does not belong to her camp steps up, she asked the same questions and object to them as well! What do you think?

    6. (deleted)

    - I asked the questions above because what I see caused me to be suspicious of the intention to be not transparent.

    I am glad that there are members in the SC who will check the process and report to all the residents. My only hope is that they don't get drown out...

    (deleted)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Careful people what you say.....

    ReplyDelete
  13. During the EOGM, some questions were repeatedly asked to the annoyance of some people who failed to see that it is the LAW that requires it. It is much better up front to know if the candidates has conflict of interests and object to their being in the SC then to blindly let them in and then having find out later!
    READ Straits Times Forum 15th Feb:

    Home > ST Forum > Story
    Feb 15, 2011
    En bloc interest: Law requires conflict of interest declaration

    MS GRACE Francis suggested that those interested in running for office in an estate declare non-conflict of interest ("En bloc roadblocks"; last Thursday).

    With the amendments to the Land Titles (Strata) Act in 2010, candidates standing for election to the collective sale committee (CSC) and any existing CSC members are required to declare any conflict of interest. This includes any direct or indirect interest in entities such as property developer and property consultant, and the extent of ownership they or persons connected to them (such as immediate family members) have in the strata development.

    Ms Francis also commented that there are pro-en bloc residents who join the estate's management corporation (MC) council and oppose attempts to improve the estate.

    Under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act, the MC council is duty-bound to ensure that the estate is well-maintained and kept in a state of good and serviceable repair.

    Should the MC council fail to perform its duties, subsidiary proprietors/owners can seek redress through the Strata Titles Boards or the court to compel the MC council to perform its duties.

    Chong Wan Yieng (Ms)
    Director
    Corporate Communications Division
    Ministry of Law

    Questions for TC owners:
    1. Does this mean that one of the property agent in the SC who declared she owns 2 units and refused to declare how many units she co-owns at the EOGM can no longer be in the SC since the LAW requires it? Can we report this and let the LAW handle this?
    2. For the other property agents in the SC who declared that they have no conflict of interests, does it mean that when there is conflict of interests and it is proven, they can be reported to the authorities for breaking the LAW?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Straight after the EOGM, I put in a formal complaint about SC member no 10 who refused to divulge the full extent of her interests in the estate. By law, her candidature should be voided.

    I am awaiting the managing agent's reply.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Finally, the managing agent's reply was that he found nothing wrong, and so she is still a SC member.

    I disagree with him because I found her co-mortgagee had an interest in another unit.

    There is also a POSSIBLE (I cannot verify) familial connection to another owner with 2 units. All units were bought between Oct 2009 and Mar 2010. If true these people are associates and must be declared.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think it's time to fire the managing agent.
    It is written clearly in the papers by the Director Corporate Communications Division Ministry of Law - see above.
    He can't even run the EOGM properly, he had to be told how to move on during the meeting.

    ReplyDelete
  17. even if there are family connections with a few units, how will that impact his role in the SC. TC is too big for the person to make an impact. It is all a technicality.

    However, I felt the member should have been more upfront.

    Could be brought up to the STB is you guys manage the 80%.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's not technicality. Since you said that even with a few units with family connections, TC is too big and will not make any impact, then why as you said this member is not upfront about it?
    Is there any need then to hide anything?
    If there is nothing to hide, then why not comply with the LAW and simply declare as is required.

    ReplyDelete
  19. when I say technicality, is related to the Law,
    the upfront thingy is just my own opinion.

    I guess he did not comply bec he did not know. The managing agent should know and clarify.

    One way round this is for the SC to sign a declaration and put up at the notice baord.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The declarations of each SC will have to be put up soon when a solicitor is appointed. These declarations will then be pasted onto notice boards. The declarations has to be properly written by appointed solicitor. So until TC has a solicitor in place, we will be doing many things out-of-law as what you have observed so far. Things will be better conducted then. That is why some developments brought in the solicitor as early as 1st EOGM.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sorry no.

    It is very specific in the 3rd Schedule that:-

    'he shall before his election,declare at the general meeting,convened for such election, the nature and extent of all such conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest'

    and if he/she is in arrears or an undischarged bankrupt:-
    'shall be leigible for election as a member of the SC if and only if, his status is declared in writing whether by himself or another at the time of his nomination'

    There is no mention of VERIFICATION - a loophle in the legislation, and a future en bloc lawyer is not going to do a search for free (as it is NOT within his scope as an en bloc lawyer). So who will pay?

    Declarations are all hogwash without a 'trust and verify' clause to go with them.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I suggest you guys go through the declaration and reconfirm the SC during the next EOGM. No need for the whole re-election. Just a vote to agree to continue with the elected SC will do.

    This will clear the mess you guys are facing now with regard to the declaration. It will also close the opportunity for any minority owners to poke at technicalities at the STB.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Agree, it would be a long drawn thing if this matter is left unchecked, because it'll be a long drawn battle.
    Good for me, cos' I like it here.
    If the sale gets thrown out due to technicalities, I get to keep my home. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  24. key point is that the time between award of tender and sale completion has to be as short as possible. If it is a long drawn affair, owners will be expose to the risk of property price fluctuation. (Gillman Heights owners suffered because of this delay).

    Thankfully, the new rules have reduced the risk of delay by speeding up the processes.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Agree. But if there are technicalities to hit at and valid ones, it'll be a long drawn process.
    So in the interests of a successful en-bloc, it is better to get rid of technicalities.
    But, like I said, it is a good thing, because at the end, en-bloc may fail, and I get to keep this place - by 2015, there will be 3 MRT, university, international school, expressways, market, shopping malls.... just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The actual process from SC formation to Application for Sale was lengthened by 1 year!

    An extra year was added between the CSA and getting the first signature onto the CSA proper.

    The Strata Board was shortened, yes, as they no longer will hold tribunals (thank goodness!) - but it's the High Court that takes an interminable length anyhow.

    So, what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabout

    ReplyDelete
  27. what killed Gillman Height owners was the delay between the award to sale to the end of the sales process which got stuck at the STB and HC. While the minorities went about their business, the property prices skyrocketed.

    This was the gap that the new rules were meant to plug.

    I expect to see less enblocs going to the High Court due to the added transparency of the new regulations. None of the enblocs in the new regime went to HC.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Gillman was sold for $363 psf ppr. The marketing agent would have known that the new development would sell for well over $1200 psf (since he would have provided the business proposal to the buyer).

    They were grossly undersold and that is the crux of the matter.

    ReplyDelete
  29. So bottom line is get it Right: no hitches, no hanky panky, no under cutting, no under table, no scare tactic, no unfair practices.
    Or say it another way, do it RIGHT: be above board, be positive, be inclusive.
    Not that there'll be no issues, but that it'll be smoother and most people will be happier.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Gillman was sold for $363psf...

    We now have the benefit of hindsight....

    What is fact is that if the owners got their money earlier and not fight at the STB and HC, they will be better off financially...

    They shot themselves in the foot.

    ReplyDelete
  31. They would have still been conned out of their rightful compensation.

    There is NO hindsight in these matters. Marketing agents and buyers are expert at foresight and knew damn well the real value of GH. They fought hard to secure their steal. It was the consenting owners who were completely blind.

    When a developer buys en bloc - the media is immediately able to post the price paid, the psf ppr and the break even cost and the prospective sale price psf of the new estate.

    These are not instant figures springing up after the sale... these calculations were done possibly a year in advance and NEVER shown to owners.

    Owners are conned over and over again by the marketing agents.

    ReplyDelete
  32. OK OK, the developers had a crystal ball with them. why did I not think of that.

    conned? perhaps, but they could have been less burnt if they got their cash earlier.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Developers think long term, plan projects well in advance - no need for crystal balls. It's the owners who are blinkered!

    There were land surveyors in the estate last time, taking measurements, probably had the future plans of the new estate (or 3!) all up and ready by the time we reached the 80%. So don't tell me a 1-4-1 exchange is not possible - it is a cinch for the developer at that point in time.

    So, TC land surveys are already in some developer(s) computer system somewhere - ready and waiting to make their appearance once again.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Give the SC a chance to prove their worth. Give them time to work out the package before deciding to change the SC

    ReplyDelete
  35. So long as if word goes around negatively and that if we can get $1.4mil count ourselves lucky, then no chance given.
    So if the word going around is positve and not leh-long TC, then got chance.

    ReplyDelete