Strata Titles Board rules in favour of Castle Green condo resident over sliding windows

The by-laws state that no work is to be carried out that may affect the external facade of the Castle Green condominium building, without first getting the management corporation's approval in writing.

Published 10 hours ago

K.C. Vijayan

The Strata Titles Board has overruled a condominium management corporation's (MC) refusal to let an apartment owner install sliding windows, saying it found the decision to be "arguably unreasonable".

The board noted that Castle Green's MC had allowed the same sliding windows and different varieties, such as screens and blinds, to be installed at other units in the Yio Chu Kang Road development.

"The applicant's installation of clear sliding windows could not be said to detract further from the aesthetic uniformity of Castle Green," said the board in its decision grounds issued last week.

A resident, Ms Low Yung Chyuan, had sought an order from the board in February to keep the sliding windows installed at her yard opening, and to complete the rest of her renovation as permitted by the MC last September.

Her lawyer Teh Ee-von argued, among other things, that the MC did not consider the ground floor units, which had installed such windows, as having violated the by-laws.

The by-laws state that no work is to be carried out that may affect the external facade of the building, without first getting the MC's approval in writing.

The MC's lawyers Koh Junxiang and Chua Minghao countered that Ms Low had been notified that the installation was not approved despite reminders from the managing agent. She had also failed to convince the other owners, 53.7 per cent of whom voted at an annual general meeting (AGM) in June against installing such windows.

In its findings, the board said that based on the condo's by-laws, Ms Low should not have installed the windows without the approval of the MC.

It also said that while the windows did affect the external appearance of Castle Green, they would not detract from its aesthetic uniformity when seen in the context of being located among several other units that installed screens, blinds and other such relevant items in the recessed yard area of the building. It found no reason for Ms Low to be treated differently from the ground-floor units.

The board also found that the MC allowed other owners to install "a variety of items affecting the facade, (and) to do so for a considerable period of time without approval".

There was also no need for an AGM's approval as there were design guidelines for the council to decide on a case-by-case basis. The board added: "There is no reasonable basis to not consent or to refuse (Ms Low's) proposal."