Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Post-Enbloc Sale aka Free-For-All

A forum letter in the ST today highlights the fact that while our enbloc legislation is very precise in the execution and protocols surround the SALE of the estate, it is extremely woolly about the CONSEQUENCES of the sale, ie what happens after the owners get their hands on the profits.

What happens? Well, after legal completion (the point when most owners get their sale proceeds), the land belongs to the developer. The managing council will be dissolved, there won't be a managing agent, your estate is in the control of the developer. Even though there are people staying there (including children and elderly), the developer (subject to the conditions stated in the SPA) often has the right to invade your estate and put up signboards, erect show flats (yes, in plural), conduct preconstruction testing and drilling. Your security will have a hard time keeping up with who comes in and when. In fact, as my post all the way back in Jan 2007 showed, expats have complained of developers not even maintaining the quality of the estate's service and maintenance (even though owners and tenants staying there after completion are still required to pay maintenance fees) and worse, creating all sorts of health and safety hazards on your land.

But who cares? Pro-sale owners have their money and are gone from the place. The only people left - tenants (some of whom are not even aware the estate's being demolished) and residents desperately looking for alternative homes, hoping for a bullish market to show any sign of slowing down.

What can you do? Nothing much, since any SPA is decided by the sale committee and the developer (with their lawyers), and if the developer wants to come in, will any SC say no? The only hope you have - do not sign the CSA until you get a rock solid written promise from the SC not to allow developers into your own, especially if you are planning to stay there. I'll update if I have more information on what legal recourse tenants and residents have against developers creating health, noise and safety hazards in your estate.

As a colleague wrote to me, "if civilians are required by law to wear safety gear when they enter a construction site, what happens when the construction site enters your home?"

Straits Times Printed Forum
Aug 13, 2007
En bloc sale: Work starts even before all move out
Chio Tan Seng

AMID all the stories on collective property sales readers of The Straits Times have come across, mine in Balmoral View has a twist.

The developer has moved in equipment to build a showflat even though seven units of this 22-unit condo are still occupied.

It means we cannot use the visitors' carpark and the recreation areas, apart from having to tolerate the dirty swimming pool, noise and dust. In the meantime, we are still billed for monthly maintenance.

Yes, our condo was an early bird in the 'en bloc wave', and prices paid to unit owners were low compared to the current level. We accepted the deal, and the last unit must be vacated by November.

But what right has the developer to rush in before everyone moves out?

Some to-ing and fro-ing with Building and Construction Authority officials revealed that, although the deal was completed in May, the developer had already applied for and got the necessary approvals from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to build a showflat in February last year.
Did the URA check with the Strata Titles Board on the legality of such a move, given that there are residents who do not need to move out until November?

By mid-June, heavy construction equipment was moved in and the construction of the showflat is now in earnest. The recreation area has been cordoned off.

Also, I see obvious safety concerns with children playing in the compound, especially with wooden scaffolding less than a couple of metres from the swimming pool.

I understand the developer's haste to catch the hot property market but this is at the expense of residents still living on the estate.

Can the authorities enlighten us on this unsatisfactory situation?


9 comments:

Dr Minority said...

The following are online comments in response to Mr Chio's letter:

I'm Mr. Chio's brother. After reading some of the comments, I'm a little concerned with the law pertaining to Enbloc sales. It seems that there are many people suffering out there.

I would have thought the law would err in favour of safety and provides for safe living environment at all times. Unfortunately, the law seems to skew towards developers and their haste to bring projects to the market. We need to lobby our government to change the law before to prevent accidents in our supposedly safe living environment.

Let's hope MND, BCA, URA, Strata Board do something about this.
Posted by: snaker123 at Mon Aug 13 18:50:55 SGT 2007

Amber Lodge at Amber Road too. Residents are now considered tenants, effective July 1st. In this case, would the developer not have the right to do what they want since residents have recevied some form of payment and they are now staying for free?
Posted by: 7023343F at Mon Aug 13 17:38:11 SGT 2007

rosy said...

Hope the new en bloc legislation will address this issue as well. Chin up!

Anonymous said...

time to sue your Marketing Agent and Lawyer!

Anonymous said...

>>>> time to sue your Marketing Agent and Lawyer! <<<<

Next time, no agent or lawyer want to take up the enbloc case. Then, sellers represent themselves to negotiate with buyers. End up, even more problem ?

Anonymous said...

"Next time, no agent or lawyer want to take up the enbloc case. Then, sellers represent themselves to negotiate with buyers. End up, even more problem ? "

dont be silly... next time, agents and lawyers will just protect themselves bu adding a clause of indemnity.. got money dun wan to earn.. so silly..

Anonymous said...

>>>>dont be silly... next time, agents and lawyers will just protect themselves bu adding a clause of indemnity.. got money dun wan to earn.. so silly.. <<<<

15 August 2007 08:52

Then, sellers 100% die ? Once you sign. 100% must sign. Don't sell, you cannot sue anyone or pointing finger to snother psrty

Anonymous said...

"Then, sellers 100% die ? Once you sign. 100% must sign. Don't sell, you cannot sue anyone or pointing finger to snother psrty "

dun so negative la... sign already not the end of the world.. sign already, can go for world tour, can go buy your mercedes benz..

but most importantly, sign already, go thru the motion and give up your home quietly.. dun sign liao.. price rise abit, then wanna wiggle wiggle wiggle...

Karen said...

Hi ! Useful blog. Will look through info slowly. Looked it up cos am now in process of having to figure stuff out. Would like to link to you, if you don't mind.

Would you consider using a white background, like minima instead ? I know black is really dramatic and fits the topic but it's really painful to read and I really do want to go through the info !!

Dr Minority said...

Argh lol... I absolutely want to change it but (a) it'll require me to go through each post and realign all the colours individually (b) i don't have the time! :(

What I can do, and might be more useful, is if I were to set up print pages options (which will only print the texts). Is that a compromise? It'll allow you to read in any location, condition, and time!

(Until I get some time out from my mad work schedule to sit down and retweak the blog!)