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Thread: Not feasible to raise en bloc consent level to 99%

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    Default Not feasible to raise en bloc consent level to 99%

    April 19, 2008

    Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%


    WHEN the Land Titles (Strata) Act was amended, the majority required to approve a collective property sale was changed from 100 per cent to 80 per cent on the following basis:

    # A small minority (as we understand it) in places like Kim Lim Mansion blocked sales from going through;

    # The change to the law was meant to facilitate redevelopment in very run-down condos; and

    # The law was meant to allow intensification of land use in prime areas.

    These original intentions have changed radically in that:

    # Now more than 20 per cent have to oppose the sale process in order to save their homes;

    # Condos in good condition have too often gone under the en-bloc hammer; and

    # Condos in non-prime areas are going en bloc, and not always with the intensification previously envisaged.

    Since thousands of homes have gone en bloc and there is now talk of collective sales in too many condominiums, can the Government consider raising the ratio to 99 per cent consent?

    With the proliferation of resistance to collective sales in condos in Botanic Gardens, Bayshore Park, Clementi Park, Green Lodge, Dairy Farm Estate, Mandarin Gardens and more, each with its own website, there is obviously a growing sentiment in favour of staying put.

    Susan Prior (Ms)

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    Default Re: Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%

    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    April 19, 2008

    Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%


    WHEN the Land Titles (Strata) Act was amended, the majority required to approve a collective property sale was changed from 100 per cent to 80 per cent on the following basis:

    # A small minority (as we understand it) in places like Kim Lim Mansion blocked sales from going through;

    # The change to the law was meant to facilitate redevelopment in very run-down condos; and

    # The law was meant to allow intensification of land use in prime areas.

    These original intentions have changed radically in that:

    # Now more than 20 per cent have to oppose the sale process in order to save their homes;

    # Condos in good condition have too often gone under the en-bloc hammer; and

    # Condos in non-prime areas are going en bloc, and not always with the intensification previously envisaged.

    Since thousands of homes have gone en bloc and there is now talk of collective sales in too many condominiums, can the Government consider raising the ratio to 99 per cent consent?

    With the proliferation of resistance to collective sales in condos in Botanic Gardens, Bayshore Park, Clementi Park, Green Lodge, Dairy Farm Estate, Mandarin Gardens and more, each with its own website, there is obviously a growing sentiment in favour of staying put.

    Susan Prior (Ms)

    Yes, Ms Prior, you are correct that many en bloc proponents have reversed their position after the earth-shoking decision last Wednesday on the Regent Garden case where minority owners can now openly demand a second payment, called incentives, in addition to the share of the sale price.

    My brother's condo, on the en bloc route with more than 70% signed up, suddenly saw withdrawals (thank God, this is allowed in the amended en bloc laws in a five-day "cooling period"), that plunged the support level to below 50%, all quoting the Regent Garden case as the reason.

    The SC of that condo was told that all owners must sign, i.e. 100%, otherwise none of those unsigned members would dare sign. So it's not 99%, but back to 100% by mother nature's law and not LTSA law.

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    Default Re: Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%

    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_232867.html

    May 1, 2008

    Not feasible to raise en bloc consent level to 99%


    I REFER to the letter 'Raise en bloc consent level to 99%' by Ms Susan Prior (April 19) .

    Her letter seems to me to be a way of asking the relevant government authorities to revert to the 100 per cent consent ratio for collective sales. How so?

    For apartment buildings and condominiums with 50 units or fewer, a 99 per cent consent ratio means that 49.5 units have to agree to the collective sale.

    As this is absurd, rounding up to the nearest whole figure means 50 units, that is, 100 per cent. Similarly, for developments with 99 units or fewer, a 99 per cent consent ratio means 98.01 units. Rounding up means that 99 units have to agree, or 100 per cent again. Over the years, how many projects that had been sold collectively had 99 units or fewer each?

    I would say a significant number, going from my clippings of such reports published in the papers.

    If Ms Prior's suggestion is adopted, these developments would not have succeeded in being sold collectively.

    However, I do agree that fairly new condominiums should not go under the en bloc hammer. My proposal is for the relevant authorities to consider disallowing buildings less than 20 years old from being demolished, unless there are extenuating circumstances, like a structural defect.

    This does not prevent developers from buying and refurbishing them via a collective sale if they find that option financially viable.

    Secondly, to allow for urban renewal to continue but at a more gradual pace, the consent ratio could be amended as follows: Buildings 20-24 years old (80 per cent); 25-29 years old (75 per cent); 30-34 years old (70 per cent); 35-39 years old (65 per cent); more than 40 years old (60 per cent).

    Ace Matthews


    DO IT THE OLD WAY

    'Why not put an immediate stop to this entire flawed, resource-wasting, socially divisive process and revert to a... supply-and-demand property market situation?''

    MR DENNIS BUTLER, responding to a letter by Madam Ong Boot Lian calling for an end to the collective property sale mediation process

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    Default Re: Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%

    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor...ry_232867.html

    May 1, 2008

    Not feasible to raise en bloc consent level to 99%


    I REFER to the letter 'Raise en bloc consent level to 99%' by Ms Susan Prior (April 19) .

    Her letter seems to me to be a way of asking the relevant government authorities to revert to the 100 per cent consent ratio for collective sales. How so?

    For apartment buildings and condominiums with 50 units or fewer, a 99 per cent consent ratio means that 49.5 units have to agree to the collective sale.

    As this is absurd, rounding up to the nearest whole figure means 50 units, that is, 100 per cent. Similarly, for developments with 99 units or fewer, a 99 per cent consent ratio means 98.01 units. Rounding up means that 99 units have to agree, or 100 per cent again. Over the years, how many projects that had been sold collectively had 99 units or fewer each?

    I would say a significant number, going from my clippings of such reports published in the papers.

    If Ms Prior's suggestion is adopted, these developments would not have succeeded in being sold collectively.

    However, I do agree that fairly new condominiums should not go under the en bloc hammer. My proposal is for the relevant authorities to consider disallowing buildings less than 20 years old from being demolished, unless there are extenuating circumstances, like a structural defect.

    This does not prevent developers from buying and refurbishing them via a collective sale if they find that option financially viable.

    Secondly, to allow for urban renewal to continue but at a more gradual pace, the consent ratio could be amended as follows: Buildings 20-24 years old (80 per cent); 25-29 years old (75 per cent); 30-34 years old (70 per cent); 35-39 years old (65 per cent); more than 40 years old (60 per cent).

    Ace Matthews


    DO IT THE OLD WAY

    'Why not put an immediate stop to this entire flawed, resource-wasting, socially divisive process and revert to a... supply-and-demand property market situation?''

    MR DENNIS BUTLER, responding to a letter by Madam Ong Boot Lian calling for an end to the collective property sale mediation process

    While I concur with Mr. Ace Matthews' proposal for an age-related consent, there are also some difficulties because buildings constructed from the 1990s onwards generally have poorer workmanship and many of them (not to cite names as they will affect the market value of these condos) have numerous defects such as interfloor seepage, falling windows, collapsing boundary walls, etc. within the first few months of TOP!

    The original concept of a collective sale was much the same as the HDB Sers, to revive ageing buildings through redevelopment.

    As we are all aware that once the buildings age, typically beyond the 20th year (thus I agree with Matthews' 20-year bar), concrete start to spall, metal parts corrode (falling windows, pipes, etc.), underground sewers and cables need expensive repairs or replacements, etc.

    In many of these condos, we have retirees living on their CPF minimum sum and without the money to contribute to the refurbishment of their old condos, leaving the only alternative for them to sell. And here is where the en bloc sale can help the retirees to maximise their savings.

    Unfortunately, with increasing plot ratios, speculative property prices, the secondary motive (the higher prices), played an increasingly bigger role in recent en bloc sales, far surpassing the redevelopment motive.

    And it is exactly the greed factor that lead to all the fights and acrimony.

    Changing the goal post as suggested by Mr. Matthews may help to reduce the friction, but may not eliminate it altogether.

    Perhaps the rules should be changed to follow that of SERS, i.e. one for one with compensation for the removal and temporary housing expenses. Of course, those who want to sell their properties instead of retaining the residency can still do so in the open market (sell either the old or the new apartment), or sell their old apartments directly to the developer.

    The SERS method would, I admit, reduce the profit margin and the incentive for the developers to buy en bloc, but would certainly eliminate the greed factor and remove the acrimony in an en bloc sale.

    It would also be more equitable for owner-occupied properties since the fear that the proceeds from the en bloc sale cannot purchase an equivalent property and the need to downgrade (instead of benefitting form the sale) would no longer exist.

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    Default Re: Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%

    Quote Originally Posted by James Tan
    While I concur with Mr. Ace Matthews' proposal for an age-related consent, there are also some difficulties because buildings constructed from the 1990s onwards generally have poorer workmanship and many of them (not to cite names as they will affect the market value of these condos) have numerous defects such as interfloor seepage, falling windows, collapsing boundary walls, etc. within the first few months of TOP!

    The original concept of a collective sale was much the same as the HDB Sers, to revive ageing buildings through redevelopment.

    As we are all aware that once the buildings age, typically beyond the 20th year (thus I agree with Matthews' 20-year bar), concrete start to spall, metal parts corrode (falling windows, pipes, etc.), underground sewers and cables need expensive repairs or replacements, etc.

    In many of these condos, we have retirees living on their CPF minimum sum and without the money to contribute to the refurbishment of their old condos, leaving the only alternative for them to sell. And here is where the en bloc sale can help the retirees to maximise their savings.

    Unfortunately, with increasing plot ratios, speculative property prices, the secondary motive (the higher prices), played an increasingly bigger role in recent en bloc sales, far surpassing the redevelopment motive.

    And it is exactly the greed factor that lead to all the fights and acrimony.

    Changing the goal post as suggested by Mr. Matthews may help to reduce the friction, but may not eliminate it altogether.

    Perhaps the rules should be changed to follow that of SERS, i.e. one for one with compensation for the removal and temporary housing expenses. Of course, those who want to sell their properties instead of retaining the residency can still do so in the open market (sell either the old or the new apartment), or sell their old apartments directly to the developer.

    The SERS method would, I admit, reduce the profit margin and the incentive for the developers to buy en bloc, but would certainly eliminate the greed factor and remove the acrimony in an en bloc sale.

    It would also be more equitable for owner-occupied properties since the fear that the proceeds from the en bloc sale cannot purchase an equivalent property and the need to downgrade (instead of benefitting form the sale) would no longer exist.
    why are private condos built so lousily? can only stand for 20 years and then start to fall apart? are you saying that HDB buildings can last longer that private ones? since SERS is at least 30 years?

    maybe we should ask hdb developers to build private condos!

    strange i have not read reports of falling windows in papers last few years... maybe as mystical as list of rich minority payoffs?

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    Default Re: Raise en-bloc consent ratio to 99%

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman
    why are private condos built so lousily? can only stand for 20 years and then start to fall apart? are you saying that HDB buildings can last longer that private ones? since SERS is at least 30 years?

    maybe we should ask hdb developers to build private condos!

    strange i have not read reports of falling windows in papers last few years... maybe as mystical as list of rich minority payoffs?

    FYI, private condos were not BUILT LOUSILY. You missed the point: it is the workmanship because in recent years (from 1990s), most of the construction workers no longer come from Malaysia (traditional source), but from India, BD, Vt, etc., who spoke neither Hokkien (construction workers' lingo) or English or Malay. So there is the communication problem and the consequential quallity control issue.

    All buildings in Singapore have a lifespan of about 50 years, whether built by HDB, JTC (those executive apartments at Lakeside Tower), PSA (One Tree Hill and Spottiswoode Park), or private condos.

    However, sloppy workmanship has resulted in windows falling (Westmere EC -- you forced me to name some), serious water seepage (Hume Park), interfloor seepage (Euro-Asia Lodge), etc.

    HDB are built to different specifications such as a lower load factor for their floors and structure (that is why they are so strict about renovations), electrical systems, etc.

    Certainly you have read of spalling concrete in HDB, falling windows, etc. too. In fact, the "window" laws were enacted because of falling windows in HDB apartments.

    The advantage is that HDB is public flat and built with huge economies of scale. So when there is problem during the first year, (defects liability period), the contractors would scramble to contain the problem least they would be barred from tendering future projects. This is not the case with private estates.

    Beyond that, the Town Council takes over and the TC reports to the MP, so they have to be on their toes.

    In contrast, managing agents managed private condos and report to management councils whose members come and go or fight amongst themselves, so managing agents can have fun. If the going gets tough, they quit; afterall there are more than 3,000 management corporations to manage, out of which about 2,000 are condos. There is no blacklisting mechanism in private developments as opposed to HDB.

    Trust the above clarifies your query.

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