Sunday, 27 April 2008

A Hero in our Midst: Ken Lee

Irregardless of the outcome of Airview Towers, one thing is for sure - Mr Ken Lee from Airview Towers stood up against people keen to take away his family home, bore the grunt of repeated legal offensives, and now made to pay the costs, because he stood up for 2 simple principles - that it is right for a person to protect his/her home, and that the enbloc law must be adhered to.

The Today paper yesterday published a full article on Mr Lee, and I've posted it on condosingapore (here). Do go there to read it. Some highlights:-

  1. His order to pay his opponents' legal costs is estimated from $150,000 to $300,000.
  2. He stayed in Airview Towers for approx. 30 years, making him a true blue stayer.
  3. He fought against the enbloc partly to fulfil a vow to his daughters, who didn't want him to sell the flat, or move out.
Given the Court of Appeal's (COA) ruling, it is unlikely that STB will reject the application this time round. I'm beginning to understand their rationale, although I have yet to read the judgment on this case. The COA pointed out that so long as the 80% is reached within 12 mths, the sale must be valid. It doesn't matter if the owners sold their units to someone else and they didn't sign the CSA within the 12 mth period, it is still valid. This is to ensure that there are no complications in the sale process.

So, if 80% of a (say) Damn-Suay Estate signed the CSA, and...
  • If all 80% gets struck by lightning and died, the sale should still go through.
  • If all 80% are husbands and they all willed their flats to their kids/wives who are against the sale, and the hubbies get hit by Mad Cows Disease for eating too many burgers, the sale should still go through.
  • If all 80% suddenly realised that their agent is a dodgy person, who has done some very questionable things to obtain the 80%, and decided to sell their units rather than wait for completion, then lucky dodgy agent will still get the sale, as it should go through. (Or until it hits any objection, but how effective are objections on bad faith or poor conduct nowadays, seriously?)
  • But what happens, with the new law's 5 day cooling period, when an owner who signed the CSA on 4th April and triggers the 80%, decides to sell his unit to a buyer 4 mths later. Is the buyer then entitled to a 5 day cooling period as well, after he signs the CSA, or is he stuck?
Again, if anyone knows how to contact Mr Ken Lee, please contact me: enblocsingapore@hotmail.com.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Comment on abstract from your article.
- But what happens, with the new law's 5 day cooling period, when an owner who signed the CSA on 4th April and triggers the 80%, decides to sell his unit to a buyer 4 mths later. Is the buyer then entitled to a 5 day cooling period as well, after he signs the CSA, or is he stuck?

My view: In normal home S&P transaction, on buyer decision to buy, he normally pays an option money. The seller then gives an option to purchase to buyer of 7 to 14 days to decide whether to go ahead with the sale. This period is already a cooling off period where the buyer have the option to withdraw from the sale.

Anonymous said...

Ken Lee is the 2008 enbloc sacrificial lamb.Not hero.

Anonymous said...

I support the Court of Appeal judgement. A contract is a contract, if the CSA can be easily rescinded by selling the unit, then there will be no end to 80% ruling. New buyer should know what he is getting in for when he buys over the unit (whether with CSA and/or TA). The same also apply to the tenancy agreement (TA) attach to the sales. New owner must honour the TA make between the seller and the tenant and cannot "chase away" or increase the rent of the tenant.

Both CSA and TA have got a time frame attach to it . After both expire, the new buyer can do what he wishes for.

Anonymous said...

I may agree with the ruling, but I am horrified that he was awarded costs on all three levels. The STB were given leeway to interpret the rules as they went along and now when they do - it's a gample at the HC and AC whether they were correct or not! The stb CAN NEVER RULE WITH CERTAINTY BECAUSE THERE IS NO CERTAINTY IN THE RULES!
Mr Lee was MISLED by the STB.

mr.meles said...

Now that he is going back to STB, will it start all over again or is it going to end there?

Anonymous said...

It begs the question - is the STB the correct channel? Who are the people who makes up the STB? Are they judges?