Thursday, 5 April 2007

Feedback Unit's REACH Discussion on En Bloc Legislation

REACH, the Feedback Unit's public forum, has posted a discussion thread on the proposed en bloc legislation changes. You can find it here. By all means, feel free to chip in there as I do believe the Feedback Unit reads the discussion.

Reach's Our Common Space Forum Discussion - Proposed Changes to En Bloc Sale Legislation

While I'm not familiar with the forum protocols, I think you can submit responses to the discussion thread anonymously (like I did) or you can register an account. In either cases, I'm sure your IP address is logged so anonymity is an illusion :)


Dr Minority said...

Imagine to my surprise when two incidents happened. First I noticed the no. of visitors shooting right up to 700+ in one day. Then I had an email from a colleague saying "Surprise you're on candid camera" with a printed forum letter by Niamh Choo titled "Chance for voice to be heard on en bloc sales" which referred to this blog. That explains the sudden bump in visitors.

Well, to Niamh Choo, thanks so much for letting folks know about this blog (and even more importantly, for succeeding when my previous two attempts to the Forum pages failed)!

I've been in the US the past week and will be here this week, but will try my best to respond to the emails. And when I get back, will do major updates to the blog and of course, the en-bloc list.

Do read through the blog and I welcome your comments.

Dr Minority

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to email you?

Dr Minority said...

yes. Email can be found on my profile page or mail me -

Anonymous said...

What should be the criteria for choosing the marketing agents? This is important as once it's chosen, it's hard to change it.

Here is what I can think of:

1. Minimum Reserve Price
Marketing agents like to give a range, and the upper limit can be very high indeed. So the minimum should be the consideration.

2. Track record
Refer to both the company and the people.
Relevant track record (similar area, similar size, etc).

3. Fee
Should be performance based, so it's aligned to owners interest. They sell more, they get more.

4. Handling of minority
The better they handle the minority, the higher the chance we reach 80%. Handling of minority includes things like:

4.a. 1-for-1 exchange
4.b. help and discount for similar property (which they are marketing too).

5. Marketing plan
How do they plan to reach the highest possible price? Perhaps should market oversea too...?

6. Simple, plain English documents.
Not full of legal jargons.
All property jargons (unit value, plot ratio, etc) explained clearly.

7. Transparency
How much information will be provided at no cost to owners (e.g. detailed plans, communication with developers and lawyers, etc)?
How frequent is the update?
Do they facilitate discussions among owners? For example, they can set up mailing list, or weekly moderated discussion at club house.
Clearly listing the Do and Dont that they will honour. For example, they won't have private deal with each minority as part of their effort to persuade them.

Dr Minority said...

Marketing Agents - Bane of Enblocs lol. While your suggested criteria are commendable, from previous experiences I can say that:-
1. Most SCs do take all that you've said into consideration, but a typical overriding factor for selecting MAs is, given their track record, what's the BEST reserve price they can give for the owners. In other words, MAs are help to account to achieve, using whatever means necessary, not only the 80% required but also the RP that they are comfortable selling the property. Too high, and developers won't bite. Too low, and owners won't bite.
2. Transparency is antithetical to a fast effective sale. Enblocs have to be done quickly which means the less information that flows between parties the faster things get done. That's why the estate nominates a sales committee who then handles everything between the MA, lawyers and the owners. In this sense, if you get a fair SC who insists on transparency you get a fairer process. But most MAs will strongly suggest SCs don't favour transparent action simply because all sorts of headaches and complications arise (eg owners making more noise, people disagreeing with SC every step of the way etc). So while MAs are important for a successful sale of an enbloc, the selection of appropriate SC members are crucial to make the process fair and transparent. That's why Jayakumar suggests having regulations stipulating the SC members should include people who are against enblocs too.

Anonymous said...

the link no longer work....

Anonymous said...

Our enbloc is at the conditional sale point, right before the EOGM (they are holding it AFTER the sale, would you believe!) and STB application. The majority is only 80.7% (thats 3 units in my 560 estate). We finally got an anti-enbloc group up and going and now the lawyer is threatening to 'take steps". If we send out another flier he will sue us! Do you have any idea of the legality of this? We are not CSA signers so logically we can do and say what we like, as the sale has not been rubberstamped by the STB yet.
Have other estates continued their objections unharrassed after the conditional sale?
Another thing: I can not for the life of me find anything on who pays for those dratted lawyers/prop.consultants should the STB application fail. Logically it should be the majority owners, but where can I find that fact written down?!