April 4, 2009


Relook en bloc rules

I AM sure that I am not alone in being mightily heartened by the ruling of the Court of Appeal in the Horizon Towers case. However, the case happened because of the infancy of en bloc sale laws. Something is amiss if you have to go all the way to the Court of Appeal to get fair play.

Not only should such sales have tighter rules to regulate all aspects of the transactions, but the laws should also be reviewed. It is also time to take stock of the role of the Strata Titles Board. Is its very composition detrimental to any real kind of proper hearing on the issues?

In the past, many multimillion-dollar en bloc transactions have fallen far short of rigorous scrutiny. Self-interested sales committees have been allowed to practise partisan conduct to promote a sale at any cost. Dissenters of a sale have been prohibited from attending closed-door meetings concerning the sale of their own homes.

It is the silence of the law on many such practices which has resulted in passionate dissent on the en bloc landscape. The bravery of the Horizon Towers dissenters is to be lauded. However, seeking redress to ensure fair play in collective sales means digging deep into one's pockets to get any kind of hearing. Surely, something is amiss.

Susan Prior (Ms)