Encourage more private home owners to speak out

When I collected a set of forms for filing a complaint to the Strata Titles Board (STB), I was surprised to be asked if I had a lawyer. This implied that the filing could exceed the $500 application fee, as a layman like me could not present the facts myself. Because of this, I did not proceed with my complaint.

Hence, I agree with Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi (Can strata board charge lower fee?; Aug 5).

We need to encourage more owners to speak out. This will allow the STB to study matters and implement updates to theBuilding Maintenance and Strata Management Act.

At the rate that the Act is being revised, many private home owners are left frustrated or resigned to their fate.

Most Management Corporation Strata Titles (MCSTs) are managed with the help of managing agents.

Some managing agents issue circulars, but close an eye to non-compliance by office bearers.

Some councils are made up of just a few self-serving volunteers. Residents have an impossible task getting by-laws enforced, or are forced to spend time and money filing a complaint with the STB.

Some MCSTs do not circulate the minutes of their annual general meetings and do not inform residents of matters that affect them and their property value.

Owners have a stake in the running of the estate. Hence, more owner participation, without joining the council or receiving any stipends, should be encouraged.

A lower STB fee would help to achieve this.

Lee Kwet Ngiap

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2017, with the headline 'Encourage more private home owners to speak out'. Print Edition | Subscribe