On 28 October 2017, MCSTGuru held its inaugural Learning Circle for the strata management community today at the Lifelong Learning Institute. It was attended by well over 40 learners. The learners were mostly made up of the management corporations (MCSTs) representing private residential and mixed-used developments in Singapore, property owners, and vendors.

Noi Rahman, MCSTGuru’s Content and Community Manager, an ex-lawyer, author and a certified trainer led participants through the scope of condominium management in Singapore and key issues faced by MCSTs.

Topics such as vendor sourcing for maintenance works, proper handover of documents when there is a change in Managing Agents, scrutiny of various expenditures for condominiums, as well as dealings with MCST Councils, their Managing Agents and developers were highlighted as some of the grey areas encountered. Digitisation of MCST workflow and embracing of knowledge/ document management systems to facilitate MCST management processes were briefly touched on as solutions to some of these issues faced.

In the second half of the workshop, Patrick Tan, Founder and CEO of Fortis Law Corporation, our special guest facilitator outlined the changes to the provisions of the “Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA)”.

A key change to the BMSMA is on the proxy system. Now, an appointed proxy can only represent a maximum of two lots, or 2% of the total number of lots in the development, whichever is higher. In cases of transfers from developers to MCST, the balance of monies must be in a positive amount. Membership of the MCST Council in a mixed used development must also comprise of at least one subsidiary proprietor from each class of use of that development.

Other changes highlighted are:

  • The consent to act as a council member must be given at least 48 hours before the general meeting.
  • The treasurer of the MCST Council cannot be the chairperson or secretary.
  • The definition of what constitutes “common property” has also been extended to include certain elements whether or not they are in the lot.

Patrick explained that the changes to the BMSMA were necessary so as to fine-tune the framework for strata management, reduce the incidences of disputes or abuse of power and ensure a fairer decision making process.

He also shared his extensive experience acting as Chairman of MCST Councils and in his firm’s dealings with wide ranging cases. The regulation of en bloc sales and pitfalls to avoid were also outlined.

The workshop ended with a Q&A session, and networking by the learners.

The MCSTGuru team wishes to thank Patrick Tan and his team from Fortis Law Corporation for their insightful and valuable contribution, and to the learners for taking time off to attend the workshop. We hope that our learners went away with more clarity on the regulatory changes, and practical solutions to their issues faced. We aim to bring in more of this sharing “from the community, back to the community” to enhance the standards of strata management governance in Singapore.

More Learning Circle engagements are listed here.

Watch this space for more updates on the next MCSTGuru Learning Circles. 

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Related reading: Wide-ranging changes proposed by BMSM Bill