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Thread: High Court wants STB to hear Regent Court sale appeal

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    Default High Court wants STB to hear Regent Court sale appeal

    Published April 17, 2008

    Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    By CHEW XIANG


    THE stop-start en bloc sale of Regent Garden, a 31-unit West Coast Road condominium, to Allgreen Properties looks set to finally go through after the High Court yesterday directed the majority owners to complete the agreement.

    The court also ruled that the Strata Titles Board's decision in January to reject the deal was irrelevant and ordered the majority owners to pay costs to Allgreen, the developer.

    The agreement with Allgreen, originally signed in April last year, was first delayed when six owners out of the 31 held out.

    When the dissenting six finally agreed to sell out by November, the majority owners, who together own 25 units and over 80 per cent of the share value in Regent Garden, did an about turn and tried to abort the deal, arguing that the $34 million sale price was too low partly because of a wrongly estimated $7.2 million development charge.

    They wanted the High Court to void the agreement, or alternatively, to award damages or an addition to the sale price.

    Allgreen, represented by Davinder Singh of Drew & Napier LLC, itself went to the High Court in mid-January to ask for an order requiring the majority owners to complete the sale deal. The six minority owners joined in the proceedings as well.

    But on Jan 30, the Strata Titles Board ruled the sale had not been done in good faith because Regent Garden's valuation was wrong and well below the market price.

    Yesterday, Allgreen said in a statement that 'the decision by the High Court is a victory for the sanctity of contract and is a strong message that owners will be held to their bargain'.

    'The court's decision is very good news for the entire industry,' said Allgreen.

    The majority owners were represented by Molly Lim of Wong Tan & Molly Lim LLC.

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    April 17, 2008

    Regent Garden owners ordered to complete en bloc sale to Allgreen

    By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent


    OWNERS at Regent Garden must complete the collective sale of their condominium after the High Court handed down a landmark decision in favour of developer Allgreen Properties yesterday.

    The $34 million sale, which the Strata Titles Board (STB) threw out in late January, must be finalised by May 16.

    The decision ends one of the more unusual collective sale disputes.

    Initially, 25 owners signed off on the sale in April last year, but they later tried to overturn the deal, claiming, among other things, that the condo was undervalued.

    Although the owners had opted for a fixed $34 million price, they were unhappy that a development charge payable by Allgreen turned out to be much lower than expected.

    There were six dissenting owners in April, however. They later withdrew their objections, but the case still went to the STB.

    The STB usually assesses a sale if there are objections. In this case, however, the sale was now unanimous. Yet, it said it was still required to examine the case, whether objections were filed or not, to satisfy itself that the sale was made in good faith. It axed the deal in January, ruling that it had not been done in good faith.

    Allgreen had already asked the High Court for an order to get the majority owners to complete the sale. It argued that the STB had no need to even examine the sale, as all owners had agreed to sell.

    The court agreed, ruling that allegations of mistake and breach of contract were without merit and that the STB's decision to halt the sale of the West Coast Road estate was irrelevant. It also ordered the 25 owners to pay Allgreen's costs.

    The developer said in a statement last night that the 25 owners who signed the deal had subsequently asked Allgreen to raise its sale price. It refused.

    'Allgreen had entered into a solemn contract. It was not prepared on account of the baseless allegations to renegotiate the price,' it said.

    The developer also described the decision as a 'victory for the sanctity of contract' and sent a 'strong message' that owners would be held to their bargain.

    Allgreen was represented by senior counsel Davinder Singh, while the 25 majority owners were represented by senior counsel Molly Lim.

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Who won in the end?

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink4
    Who won in the end?

    Doesn't mind who won in the end -- it is the lesson we real estate owners (strata titled) must learn that --- MINORITY OWNERS ARE ALLOWED TO BE PAID TWICE, once from the collective price, and the other from the developer, as per Regent Garden's verdict.

    My friends and I have half a dozen properties now talking about en bloc and we shall NOT sign the CSA so that we can get two bites of the cherry.

    So, all you potential en bloc sellers, take note of this precedent.

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Quote Originally Posted by James Tan
    Doesn't mind who won in the end -- it is the lesson we real estate owners (strata titled) must learn that --- MINORITY OWNERS ARE ALLOWED TO BE PAID TWICE, once from the collective price, and the other from the developer, as per Regent Garden's verdict.

    My friends and I have half a dozen properties now talking about en bloc and we shall NOT sign the CSA so that we can get two bites of the cherry.

    So, all you potential en bloc sellers, take note of this precedent.

    Do you have info. that the minority owners were paid twice? If what you say is true then why should any owner want to sign first & be in the majority. Doesn't make sense.

    If everyone wants to be the minority in an enbloc sale then there will be no enbloc as nobody would want to be the first to sign.

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Perhaps the power lies in the hands of the sales agents? Whether they are competent enough, sloppy enough or not? Or even the lawyers?

    Does anyone has concrete info that the minority owners are paid twice? Please note that postings here are traceable. Let's be responsible in whatever we write.

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink4
    Perhaps the power lies in the hands of the sales agents? Whether they are competent enough, sloppy enough or not? Or even the lawyers?

    Does anyone has concrete info that the minority owners are paid twice? Please note that postings here are traceable. Let's be responsible in whatever we write.

    Yes, the evidence is found in court papers filed by the minorities appeal to the STB decision during which the minority owners admitted in their affidavit on page 8, paragraph 17 that the developer "managed to procure the plaintiffs' (the minorities) consent....". (see attached .pdf file on the affidavit file with the High Court).

    How would the developer be able to persuade a 180-degree reversal without compensation?

    To put the record straight, the following is the sequence of the events;

    1. Regent Garden (RG) signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement agreeing to sell for S$34.0m. on or about April 2007 with a majority of slightly more than 80%, and 6 refusals.

    2. In compliance with the LTSA and the conditional S&P, the Sale Committee (SC) applied to the Strata Titles Board (STB) for a sale order.

    3. All six dissenters filed their objections at the STB and one minority owner hired his own lawyer and threatened to sue the SC and the majorities if the sale were to go through at $34.0m., claiming that it was worth much more, and that the sale was not transparent because there was only one valid offer, that of Allgreen since the only other "offer" came from a $2 company formed barely a month before the Expression of Interest (EOI) was launched.

    4. This was brought to the STB's mediation meeting and upon hearing the objection, STB ordered a re-valuation which was done by the same valuer, DTZ, after taking into account of the development charge, which was revised to S$39.7m.

    5 At the second mediation meeting, STB indicated that the sale price of $34.0m was way below market value and indicated that a sale order is unlikely to be granted unless the purchaser agrees to top up to the actual market price. As the buyer could not be represented at the STB, the mediation was adjourned for the sellers to consult the buyers if they were willing to top up.

    6. Both buyers and sellers lawyers entered into a negotiation.

    7. Suddenly, the buyers' lawyers filed a notice to the sellers' lawyers to complete the sale claiming that 100% unanimity had been achieved because all the six minorities have withdrawn their objection from the STB.

    The rest is history.

    If the withdrawal of the minorities were obtained BEFORE the revaluation to $39.7m. and BEFORE the STB adjourned the mediation for the sellers to consult the buyers on the top up option, then the majority owners have no case at all.

    However, in this case, can we still say there is nothing wrong?

    More interesting is that after the STB decision, the minorities filed an appeal against the STB decision. This is fun. Why? You ask?

    Firstly, when the minorities withdrawn their objections, they ceased to be a party to the STB application and was promptly asked to seat in the gallery (their lawyers) with the STB V President, Mr. Alfonso Ang remarked "you are here to listen....". So they had no locus standi at the STB.

    Now, if they claimed they are part of the 100% (unanimous) since they have withdrawn their objection, then they would be represented by the Sale Committee and cannot act on their own.

    Thus, in what capacity, or locus, are they appealing against the STB's ruling? -- do we need to tell anyone that the sun can only rise from the east, not south, north or west?

    Given the above facts, which can be verified from court papers, would anyone, from now on, dared to be a majority owner to sign the CSA?

    Over my dead body, folks!
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Quote Originally Posted by James Tan
    Yes, the evidence is found in court papers filed by the minorities appeal to the STB decision during which the minority owners admitted in their affidavit on page 8, paragraph 17 that the developer "managed to procure the plaintiffs' (the minorities) consent....". (see attached .pdf file on the affidavit file with the High Court).

    How would the developer be able to persuade a 180-degree reversal without compensation?

    To put the record straight, the following is the sequence of the events;

    1. Regent Garden (RG) signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement agreeing to sell for S$34.0m. on or about April 2007 with a majority of slightly more than 80%, and 6 refusals.

    2. In compliance with the LTSA and the conditional S&P, the Sale Committee (SC) applied to the Strata Titles Board (STB) for a sale order.

    3. All six dissenters filed their objections at the STB and one minority owner hired his own lawyer and threatened to sue the SC and the majorities if the sale were to go through at $34.0m., claiming that it was worth much more, and that the sale was not transparent because there was only one valid offer, that of Allgreen since the only other "offer" came from a $2 company formed barely a month before the Expression of Interest (EOI) was launched.

    4. This was brought to the STB's mediation meeting and upon hearing the objection, STB ordered a re-valuation which was done by the same valuer, DTZ, after taking into account of the development charge, which was revised to S$39.7m.

    5 At the second mediation meeting, STB indicated that the sale price of $34.0m was way below market value and indicated that a sale order is unlikely to be granted unless the purchaser agrees to top up to the actual market price. As the buyer could not be represented at the STB, the mediation was adjourned for the sellers to consult the buyers if they were willing to top up.

    6. Both buyers and sellers lawyers entered into a negotiation.

    7. Suddenly, the buyers' lawyers filed a notice to the sellers' lawyers to complete the sale claiming that 100% unanimity had been achieved because all the six minorities have withdrawn their objection from the STB.

    The rest is history.

    If the withdrawal of the minorities were obtained BEFORE the revaluation to $39.7m. and BEFORE the STB adjourned the mediation for the sellers to consult the buyers on the top up option, then the majority owners have no case at all.

    However, in this case, can we still say there is nothing wrong?

    More interesting is that after the STB decision, the minorities filed an appeal against the STB decision. This is fun. Why? You ask?

    Firstly, when the minorities withdrawn their objections, they ceased to be a party to the STB application and was promptly asked to seat in the gallery (their lawyers) with the STB V President, Mr. Alfonso Ang remarked "you are here to listen....". So they had no locus standi at the STB.

    Now, if they claimed they are part of the 100% (unanimous) since they have withdrawn their objection, then they would be represented by the Sale Committee and cannot act on their own.

    Thus, in what capacity, or locus, are they appealing against the STB's ruling? -- do we need to tell anyone that the sun can only rise from the east, not south, north or west?

    Given the above facts, which can be verified from court papers, would anyone, from now on, dared to be a majority owner to sign the CSA?

    Over my dead body, folks!


    Do you have details of how much was paid if any was paid at all to secure the minority consensus. I couldn't find any evidence from the attached affidavit.

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    Quote Originally Posted by James Tan
    Yes, the evidence is found in court papers filed by the minorities appeal to the STB decision during which the minority owners admitted in their affidavit on page 8, paragraph 17 that the developer "managed to procure the plaintiffs' (the minorities) consent....". (see attached .pdf file on the affidavit file with the High Court).

    How would the developer be able to persuade a 180-degree reversal without compensation?

    To put the record straight, the following is the sequence of the events;

    1. Regent Garden (RG) signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement agreeing to sell for S$34.0m. on or about April 2007 with a majority of slightly more than 80%, and 6 refusals.

    2. In compliance with the LTSA and the conditional S&P, the Sale Committee (SC) applied to the Strata Titles Board (STB) for a sale order.

    3. All six dissenters filed their objections at the STB and one minority owner hired his own lawyer and threatened to sue the SC and the majorities if the sale were to go through at $34.0m., claiming that it was worth much more, and that the sale was not transparent because there was only one valid offer, that of Allgreen since the only other "offer" came from a $2 company formed barely a month before the Expression of Interest (EOI) was launched.

    4. This was brought to the STB's mediation meeting and upon hearing the objection, STB ordered a re-valuation which was done by the same valuer, DTZ, after taking into account of the development charge, which was revised to S$39.7m.

    5 At the second mediation meeting, STB indicated that the sale price of $34.0m was way below market value and indicated that a sale order is unlikely to be granted unless the purchaser agrees to top up to the actual market price. As the buyer could not be represented at the STB, the mediation was adjourned for the sellers to consult the buyers if they were willing to top up.

    6. Both buyers and sellers lawyers entered into a negotiation.

    7. Suddenly, the buyers' lawyers filed a notice to the sellers' lawyers to complete the sale claiming that 100% unanimity had been achieved because all the six minorities have withdrawn their objection from the STB.

    The rest is history.

    If the withdrawal of the minorities were obtained BEFORE the revaluation to $39.7m. and BEFORE the STB adjourned the mediation for the sellers to consult the buyers on the top up option, then the majority owners have no case at all.

    However, in this case, can we still say there is nothing wrong?

    More interesting is that after the STB decision, the minorities filed an appeal against the STB decision. This is fun. Why? You ask?

    Firstly, when the minorities withdrawn their objections, they ceased to be a party to the STB application and was promptly asked to seat in the gallery (their lawyers) with the STB V President, Mr. Alfonso Ang remarked "you are here to listen....". So they had no locus standi at the STB.

    Now, if they claimed they are part of the 100% (unanimous) since they have withdrawn their objection, then they would be represented by the Sale Committee and cannot act on their own.

    Thus, in what capacity, or locus, are they appealing against the STB's ruling? -- do we need to tell anyone that the sun can only rise from the east, not south, north or west?

    Given the above facts, which can be verified from court papers, would anyone, from now on, dared to be a majority owner to sign the CSA?

    Over my dead body, folks!

    This is already history and this en-bloc case is an exceptional one and was done in accordance with old regulations.

    The new laws require valid land valuation before accepting the tender offer and must be approved by EOGM. It also requires a lot of transparence of long procedures before getting ready for open tender.

    Frankly, there is not much change for minority owners to hit two times!

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    Default Re: Court directs Regent Garden sale to Allgreen to proceed

    But you said they got paid twice, meaning what? If everyone gets paid $1m, they got paid $2m?

    Don't be so bitter lah. Learn the lesson and don't do enblocs anymore. In the first place, it was the majority who first agreed to sell, otherwise, why is there "majority" and "minority"? Minitory must have felt very aggrieved. I think somewhere someone has been sloppy.

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