Make enbloc sales fairer & more transparent
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The current rules and collective sales process are currently tilted in favour of sellers with minority homeowners pitched against seasoned professionals from property agents, lawyers and developers.
HELP US in an appeal to parliament to set up a committee to address this inequality and make the enbloc process fairer, more transparent and even-handed to include:
- A minimum age before estates can be eligible for enbloc sale.
- Revise the 80-20 formula that triggers the enbloc sale. Absentee landlords who own multiple units should be limited in their number of votes.
- Use of an online platform where everyone has a chance to have their queries answered before owners decide whether to set up a collective sales committee (CSC). Currently many EOGMs are too chaotic with minority views often ignored.
- If more than 20 per cent of home owners are against the enbloc sale, the process should be halted.
- If owners decide to go ahead, the CSC should clearly spell out the steps ahead. Those not in favour must be allowed to post their alternative views on the online platform.
- Management committees (MCSTs) should allow EQUAL access to noticeboards for all, not just those in favour of the enbloc sale. Regulations be changed to ensure MCSTs remain neutral in their actions.
The current enbloc process creates three vicious cycles:
1) Speculators can continue on their musical chair of embedding themselves in the next estates after collecting their gains. They will be creating further disruptions to the more communities.
2) Those who use their sales proceeds to buy into another estate are not guaranteed their lives would not be disrupted again by another collective sale since enbloc sales have been carried out at properties less than 10 years old.
3) Even if an enbloc sale is averted, the cycle may start all over with another attempt within two years. This puts many financial planning processes such as refinancing, renovation and renting out to tenants on hold --- not to mention undue stress on families and retirees.
When we purchase our homes, we are making a long-term commitment to ourselves and families. We do not expect to be uprooted and subjected to the whim of external forces every few years. Our homes should be safe havens and retirement pads.
See also Letter to ST Forum
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