Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Changes to Land Strata Titles Act effective from 15 July

Changes to the Land Strata Titles Act will be effective from Thursday, 15 July, after the Amendment Act was enacted in Parliament on 18 May.

The amendments seek to provide more clarity to the en bloc sales process and balance the interest of property owners.

Among them, a two-year restriction period will be imposed starting from the date an initial collective sale attempt failed.

The objective is to discourage numerous attempts at en bloc sales when there is insufficient interest from the owners.

The first re-try to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting to reappoint a sale committee will need the backing of at least 50 percent share value or total number of owners.

For second or subsequent re-tries during the 2-year period, 80 percent will be needed.

Currently, the requisition threshold is set at 20 percent by share value or 25 percent of the total number of owners.

Another amendment is that the Strata Titles Board will be empowered to issue a “stop order” to cease mediation once it becomes clear that the affected owners want adjudication to be done in court.

Currently, the Strata Titles Board mediates and adjudicates on objections filed by minority owners in en bloc sales.

The change could help to reduce the costs and time taken to resolve more contentious en bloc applications.

Some of the changes will apply to the en bloc sale committees.

Among them is the requirement for those standing for election to the sale committee to declare the extent of ownership that they or their immediate family have in the development.

To ensure that the sales process is not dragged out, the sale committee will have one year to obtain the first signature for the Collective Sale Agreement, or it will be automatically dissolved.

The one-year time frame will start from the date the sale committee is formed.

These changes will apply to en bloc applications made on or after the date of commencement of the Land Titles (Strata) (Amendment) Act.

Source: Channel News Asia, 14 Jul 2010

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