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Thread: Majority owners at Airview Towers win appeal

  1. #1
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    Default Majority owners at Airview Towers win appeal

    [url]http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/news/story/0,4574,276511,00.html?[/url]

    Published April 25, 2008

    [B][SIZE="5"]Majority owners at Airview Towers win appeal[/SIZE][/B]


    THE Court of Appeal has overturned the ruling by the High Court and Strata Titles Board (STB) on the collective sale of Airview Towers, paving the way for mainboard-listed Bukit Sembawang Estates to acquire the property for $202 million.

    Located at St Thomas Walk, Airview Towers became the subject of a civil appeal after a sole resident, Ken Lee, objected to the collective sale, arguing that the minimum 80 per cent approval rate needed was not met in time.

    This was because during the process of the collective sale, a few owners had sold their units and their successors had apparently not signed the documents agreeing to the en bloc sale at the date of application.

    Although STB and the High Court had ruled in Mr Lee's favour, the Court of Appeal rejected their decision, based on a different interpretation of the reference period during which the minimum approval should be obtained.

    The Court of Appeal also ruled that when previous flat-owners signed in favour of the en bloc sale during the permitted period, they also bound their property successors in title.

    The group of majority owners in favour of the collective sale was represented by Harry Elias Partnership. The collective sale of the freehold property is expected to rake in about $2 million for each of the 100 owners.

    Bukit Sembawang Estates plans to build a 36-storey condominium at the site.

    Shares of Bukit Sembawang Estates were unchanged at $9.50 yesterday.

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    Default Re: Majority owners at Airview Towers win appeal

    [url]http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/Story/STIStory_230844.html[/url]

    April 25, 2008

    [B]RULING OVERTURNED[/B]

    [B][SIZE="5"]Airview Towers en bloc case back to Strata board[/SIZE][/B]


    THE $202 million collective sale of Airview Towers may now be back on after the Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a High Court decision to axe the sale.

    The case now goes back to the Strata Titles Board (STB), which will decide whether to approve the sale.

    The Court of Appeal found that the 80 per cent requirement for a collective sale to go through was not necessary at the point of application with the STB.

    Owners can apply for an STB order as long as the 80 per cent approval of owners is achieved within the set 12-month period for collecting signatures.

    The STB and the High Court had rejected the sale of the River Valley area condominium to Bukit Sembawang Estates. They interpreted the law to mean that the 80 per cent requirement was necessary as at the date of application with the STB over the sale.

    The Court of Appeal also found that the collective sale agreement bound all owners, including new ones who might have purchased a unit from a majority owner during the collective sale process.

    The original owners, in signing up for a collective sale, signed for themselves and future buyers. Part of the dispute centred on two flats the owners sold after signing up for the sale.

    The 100-unit estate had one objector, Mr Ken Lee, who was unrepresented. He was ordered to pay costs at the STB, High Court and Court of Appeal levels.

    JOYCE TEO

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Majority owners at Airview Towers win appeal

    You are proven innocent you can go scott free.We dont need to hang you.Cheers!.
    Wait a minute.We changed our minds.You are now guilty.Wait for the gallows.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Majority owners at Airview Towers win appeal

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Blair
    You are proven innocent you can go scott free.We dont need to hang you.Cheers!.
    Wait a minute.We changed our minds.You are now guilty.Wait for the gallows.

    Hi Tony, give the poor fellow a break. He is really unlucky because the case was relatively straightforward: the law of succession binds the successor into any contract entered by his predecessor and the sale of the two units, blah, blah, blah, does not affect the 80% count which the STB (and curiously, the High Court) seemed to think.

    An example is in the tenancy agreement where the owner cannot get out of the tenancy agreement by simply selling his unit to another friend, unless it is part of the tenancy agreement.

    If the case were stopped at STB, it would probably cost him about $50k, but now it is easily $200k to $250k. Fortunately, he did not hire is own lawyers. The Court of Appeal alone is about $70k.

  5. #5
    billl
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Tan
    Hi Tony, give the poor fellow a break. He is really unlucky because the case was relatively straightforward: the law of succession binds the successor into any contract entered by his predecessor and the sale of the two units, blah, blah, blah, does not affect the 80% count which the STB (and curiously, the High Court) seemed to think.

    An example is in the tenancy agreement where the owner cannot get out of the tenancy agreement by simply selling his unit to another friend, unless it is part of the tenancy agreement.

    If the case were stopped at STB, it would probably cost him about $50k, but now it is easily $200k to $250k. Fortunately, he did not hire is own lawyers. The Court of Appeal alone is about $70k.
    Very funny, "fortunately, he did not hire his own lawyers."

    Some people get exactly what they deserve (more than 300K I heard).

    On another topic:
    Do you know that minority owners are perfectly within their legal rights to carry out negotiations with developers to try to demand for more $$$ if they so desire and the results need not be disclosed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by billl
    Very funny, "fortunately, he did not hire his own lawyers."

    Some people get exactly what they deserve (more than 300K I heard).

    On another topic:
    Do you know that minority owners are perfectly within their legal rights to carry out negotiations with developers to try to demand for more $$$ if they so desire and the results need not be disclosed.
    Yes, my friend, so it appears, but the decision of that west coast road condo case, according to the grapevine, is now under appeal at the highest Court of Appeal, hearing expected end of the year or early next year.

    [SIZE=3]In the meantime, numerous owners who had earlier signed as majority owners have withdrawn (if within the cooling period) since it is better to be a minority owner and have two or even three cheques than a majority owner with only one cheque.[/SIZE]

    Why three? you would ask.

    First, assume the condo was sold for $100m., and Mr. X's share was $1.5m., but he bought it at $1.6m. His entitlement under the LTSA is $1.6m. (original cost) plus 4% for legal fees, etc., making it $1.664m., which means he is entitled to the top up from the majority owners -- the second cheque.

    Then an under-table cheque from the purchaser (the third cheque).
    That is exactly what happened at the West Coast Road condo.

    As a result, no more en bloc sale since 16 April 2008 because no more 80% majority possible -- everyone wants to be a minority owner.
    The second bombshell -- from the Horizon Towers appeal -- Judge says STB is not concerned about the best price and so if owners felt shortchanged, they could now sue the Sales Committee. Previously, in the CSA, the Sales Committee cannot be sued, but the Appeal Court Judge's ruling over-rides the CSA's immunity.

    Result? My brother's condo at the Bukit Timah area went kaput -- the entire Sales Committee resigned and no one wants to form the next Sales Committee afraid of being sued.

    This is Singapore -- the law promotes something, the Court decisions reverses everything.

    For more fun, follow up on Walter Woon's appeal for life imprisonment.

    Read what the CJ said and the various judges' rebuttal of WW's points.

    The Appeal Court had no choice but to reserve judgement to save the new AG's face (his first appearance in Court), you can predict the Appeal Court would not throw him out, but they cannot accept his argument either.

    The only face-saving solution for the AG is for the Appeal Court to increase the jail term for the poor convict (maybe she deserves it since a life was taken, whether murder first degree or manslaughter), but not life sentence judging from the rebuttals of the Appeal Court Judges.

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