Friday, 14 September 2007

Questioning STB's Jurisdiction on Gillman Height's Sale

Not really a court case but an STB case. Here, the 2 minority owners from Gillman Heights have argued through their lawyer that the application should be dismissed on legal grounds. You can find the article from CNA here and reproduced here. An added note of interest - Capitaland who purchased Gillman Heights sold 50% of their stake to Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL - 25%) and 2 private funds (at 15% and 10% respectively). One wonders if it's the same 2 funds embroiled with Horizon Towers currently.

Estate: Gillman Heights, Alexandra Road
Stage: Sold at $548 million 7 Feb 2007 toppling $500m by Horizon Towers in Jan 07
Source: CNA 14 Sep 2007, BT 7 Feb 2007, BT 16 Feb 2007
Party: 2 minority owners. STB Hearing due in 2 weeks' time.
Minority Owners Lawyer: Eddee Ng of Tan Kok Quan Partnership
Agent: DTZ Debenham Tie Leung
Collective Sale Lawyer: Lee & Lee
Developer: Capitaland & HPL (+2 private funds)
Reason: Number of legal reasons raised as to why the sale should be dismissed.
Details: (CNA) Some of the legal grounds for dismissal are: (1) Age of estate - Estate built in 1984 but CSC issued in 2002. Contention is that the estate is < 10 years old, and hence 90% consent required (Current level at 87.5%). Note that new law will address this but it does not apply to Gillman Heights which had already achieved 80%. (2) CSA (inked in June 06) has expired with no valid extension in supplemental CSA. (3) Because CSA has expired, SC is not authorised to represent owners in STB application.

I'll update when I get more information on this.


Anonymous said...

This is rubbish. Who on earth can say it is less than 10 years. It is based on TOP and not CSC.

Dr Minority said...

84A(1) of the LT(S)A states:
"(a) the subsidiary proprietors of the lots with not less than 90% of the share values where less than 10 years have passed since the date of the issue of the latest Temporary Occupation Permit on completion of any building comprised in the strata title plan or, if no Temporary Occupation Permit was issued, the date of the issue of the latest Certificate of Statutory Completion for any building comprised in the strata title plan, whichever is the later"

The key question really is - was a TOP issued for ex-HUDC estates? If not, then the only date of issue that is valid is that for the CSC.

According to Tampines Court's blog, they were not issued a TOP, for example.

This will have an impact on every ex-HUDC estate going enbloc now - Minton Rise, Tampines Court, Farrer Court, Neptune Court etc which did not achieve 90%.

We'll have to see how this pans out in the STB.

Anonymous said...

87% out of 600 units speaks for itself.

Dr Minority said...

>>87% out of 600 units speaks for itself.<<

We're not talking about mob mentality here. And the law allows for due process and fairness in any enbloc sale. The minority owners are exercising their right to question the legality of the sale. The trick for majority owners is to ensure that the process is above board, fair and that they have good lawyers/agents who are not keen to push the sale through regardless of legal points. Unfortunately, most are more keen on getting that mob than being fair and legally sound.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised that the sale committee's lawyers actually represent the buyers on at least one other en-bloc deal. With such a small legal community, conflicts of interests will be hard to avoid.

Anonymous said...

I thought NRA Real Estate is the agent?

Dr Minority said...

>>I thought NRA Real Estate is the agent?<<
Not according to the newspaper reports. Perhaps they're wrong?