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Thread: Keep members of MC, sales committee distinct

  1. #1
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    Default Keep members of MC, sales committee distinct

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...81303,00.html?

    Published April 15, 2010

    LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    Keep members of MC, sales committee distinct


    AS en bloc sales fever is revived, it is important for the government to take note that, often, members of the management corporation or council (MC) are the same people as those sitting on the sales committee set up for selling the property . This presents potential conflict of interest and leads to malpractices.

    When the MC, whose main roles are to oversee maintenance is tasked with the responsibility for collective sale, there would be obvious an conflict of interest simply because they are not in neutral positions; they have the power to make decisions on maintenance matters that influence en bloc sales.

    A case in point is a condominium where the MC, in pushing for an en bloc sale, has openly said that non-maintenance is a tactic to make owners fed up of their run-down properties so that they would want to sell.

    The MC also said that money should not be wasted on estate planning when an en bloc sale is in prospect. As a result, the estate's conditions, amenities and facilities have so deteriorated that they are posing safety and health hazards to residents.

    As en bloc sale procedures can take years, maintenance of estates need to be continued at a reasonable level. Hence, it is important that management of maintenance issues be separated from en bloc issues and that members of the respective committees be also distinct.

    Florence Tan

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    Default Residents have power to deal with MC members

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...82185,00.html?

    Published April 21, 2010

    LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    Residents have power to deal with MC members


    MS Florence Tan ('Keep members of MC, sales committee distinct', BT, April 15) suggests that members of management committees (MC) be distinct from members of en bloc sale committees (SC).

    Ms Tan is of the view that there will be a conflict of interest when members of the MC, whose main role is to oversee maintenance of the estate, are also tasked with the responsibility for an en bloc sale.

    Separating the members of an MC and SC may not be very practical for smaller estates if insufficient persons come forward to form two separate committees. The Land Titles (Strata) Act allows owners to elect who they feel are best suited to represent their interests into the SC. The Act also allows owners to remove any SC member or even the entire SC if they are of the opinion that they are not discharging their duties in a fitting manner.

    Under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act, the MC is duty-bound to ensure the estate is well maintained and kept in a state of good and serviceable repair. Should the MC fail to perform its duties as imposed by law, residents can seek redress through the Strata Titles Board or the Court to compel the MC to perform its duties. If residents are unhappy with the performance of council members, they can consider removing the council members concerned by way of an ordinary resolution at a general meeting on grounds of neglect of duty.

    Thus, it is entirely within the powers of the majority of the residents to deal with errant MC members.

    Chong Wan Yieng (Ms)
    Head, corporate communications Ministry of Law

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    Default

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...52740,00.html?

    Published April 23, 2010

    LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    MinLaw's response on MC, SC not satisfactory for owners


    I REFER to the response of the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) titled 'Residents have power to deal with MC members' (BT, April 21) to a letter by Florence Tan titled 'Keep members of MC, sales committee distinct' (BT, April 15) .

    First, it is surprising that MinLaw should state that 'if residents are unhappy with the performance of council members, they can consider removing the council members concerned by way of an ordinary resolution at a general meeting on grounds of neglect of duty'.

    My understanding has always been that only unit-owners, or 'subsidiary proprietors' (SPs), and not 'residents', have that power, although they may of course delegate such authority to their duly appointed proxies at general meetings.

    MinLaw's hypothesis that 'separate members for the MC (management committee) and SC (sales committee) may not be very practical for smaller estates if insufficient persons come forward to form two separate committees' also seems arbitrary, as it fails to give any guide as to where the dividing line between 'smaller' and 'bigger' estates is.

    According to our estate's experience, just one person is sufficient to act as MC of an estate, while three are required to set up a Collective Sale Committee. Does MinLaw contend these small numbers cannot be met even in the smallest estates?

    Also, apparently, there is no provision in the present rules to compel Collective Sale Committees to provide periodical 'progress reports' (even if nil) to be made known to affected owners. Why not, when millions of dollars could be involved?

    Against such a background, Ms Tan's reservations on the propriety of a perceptible conflict of interest between MCs and Sales Committees would seem valid enough.

    MinLaw's easy dismissal of the issue is unlikely to satisfy owners who are opposed to the sale of their homes.

    Narayana Narayana

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