AGM approval not needed for condo awnings: Strata Titles Board, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

AGM approval not needed for condo awnings: Strata Titles Board

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Strata Titles Board says condo MCs can issue guidelines in cases of killer littler

The Strata Titles Board has taken issue with the management corporation (MC) of D'Leedon after it initially refused to allow the owners of two ground-level units to install awnings at their private enclosed spaces despite issues with killer litter.

The MC, made up of unit owners, had told the board it was not empowered to approve installations to safeguard against killer litter if the necessary votes were not obtained at the annual general meeting (AGM). Several attempts were made to support by-laws to allow fixed or retractable awnings at the AGM last year but the majority votes were not obtained.

"The concept of majority rule in a strata development in this context cannot be taken to the extreme when safety of children is at stake," said the board in decision grounds last month."It cannot be Parliament's intention for (an MC) to be impotent in the face of such a pressing problem faced by its residents."

It found that under existing strata management regulations, MCs may prescribe guidelines in relation to awnings where there is a killer litter problem.

Savills Property Management, the managing agent, had recorded 55 reported cases of "killer" litter in 2017 and another 57 last year, with several police reports being made as well, at the condominium complex.

The owners of the two units, who had young children, had initially sought permission last year from Savills to install the awnings.

The owners, through Lee & Lee lawyer Toh Kok Seng, applied and went through the arbitration process with the board, seeking to install the fixed coverings based on design guidelines set by the developer or the board. But it emerged that before the hearing on May 7 this year, the MC had issued guidelines for the installation of retractable awnings.

The board held that if the guidelines had been issued earlier, the application may not have been necessary.

The MC, defended by lawyer Lim Tat, argued that retractable awnings were able to provide full coverage, instead of fixed awnings as sought by the applicants.

The board agreed with the MC that retractable awnings as prescribed in its guidelines is a reasonable and proportionate response to solving the killer litter problem, and awarded costs to the applicants.