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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.


The High Court has finally given the fractious collective sale of Gilstead Court condominium the green light.
It has ordered that contentious clauses at the heart of the long-running dispute be struck out from its sales agreement.
The dispute, which began in July 2013, centred on financial penalties imposed on owners who had objected to the sale.
Under the collective sale agreement, consenting sellers had to contribute towards a common fund set up for costs related to the $150.2 million sale en bloc. But objecting owners were asked to fork out twice the amount, to be withheld from their share of the net sale proceeds and shared equally among the consenting owners.
The collective sale committee, led by former Supreme Court judge Warren Khoo, had already got the requisite 80 per cent of owners to consent for the Strata Titles Board's (STB) sale approval.
The objecting owners, under other clauses in the agreement, had been required to pay an extra $135,000 for the approval proceedings, of which, a $120,000 legal consultant's fee was disputed.
But in a 69-page judgment obtained by The Straits Times yesterday, the court made clear that the dissenting owners have "basic rights" to object to the collective sale and were not bound by the terms of the agreement since they were never signatories.
"This cannot be right. Otherwise, a majority can embark on an ill-advised collective sale and yet call upon the detractors to contribute to the costs thereof," said Justice Quentin Loh. It would, by extension, be "unjust and impermissible", by a contract drawn among the majority owners, to have objecting owners bear costs related to the proceedings.
Also, it is within the High Court's power to decide who should bear the costs related to STB proceedings, not the collective sale committee or majority owners, he added. In this case, costs related to the sale en bloc should be paid by all owners according to their unit's share value.
Developer Tuan Sing had earlier made an offer to bear the $135,000 to end the dispute, a move which Mr Khoo alleged was in breach of a clause which warned against "illicit payments" in the sales agreement.
Mr Khoo, represented by Senior Counsel Michael Khoo, later withdrew the allegations, but was told to pay $20,000 for work by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh and Jaikanth Shankar of Drew & Napier while representing Tuan Sing for the High Court hearing.
There was no "surreptitious offer" to any of the owners, said Justice Loh, since it was made "openly" to all. Tuan Sing's offer eventually lapsed.
Though it would have been "simpler and neater" to refuse the sale, Justice Loh pointed out that it would not have been in the interests of the majority owners to do so, given the "present state" of the property market.
Mr Chong Chou Yuan, chief financial officer at Tuan Sing, told The Straits Times: "We are pleased with the court's judgment... If the sale goes through, we'd be more than happy to accept it because it's a very good location."
Cheryl Ong

This article was first published on February 14, 2015.
High Court Decision

Was the decision ever in doubt?

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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