Condo residents should moderate expectations, get more involved in estate matters

I agree with Mr Sivarajah Nathan that condominium living should be exclusive, with every resident playing his part to be responsible and respectful to contribute towards a pleasant and harmonious environment ("Abide by rules for good condo living"; Feb 16).

Condo residents generally have high and often unrealistic expectations.

Housing Board upgraders are used to town council services and to leaving the running of their estate to someone else. When they move into a condo, they become more demanding, more protective of their rights, and less tolerant of inconsiderate neighbours.

Few know or bother about how to take care of their estates. Most have no idea of the cost and hard work that go into maintaining facilities such as the swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis courts, round-the-clock security and landscaped gardens.

Condo annual general meetings are usually poorly attended, except when there is a significant increase in maintenance charges, news of a possible collective sale, or when home owners have an axe to grind with the management corporation.

Disgruntled residents often form organised groups to expropriate proceedings. Some council members use the platform to advance their personal agendas.

The management council could try to overcome apathy and abuse by creating awareness of the way the condo is managed. Publicity about emerging issues, problems affecting the development, as well as the steps being taken to tackle them may be posted on notice boards, the estate's website or in newsletters.

Residents can thus feel involved and gain a better understanding about the work of the council.

They can get an even greater understanding of the complexities involved in running their development if at least one representative from every household is required to serve a term in the owners' collective or management council. In this way, unrealistic expectations about condo living may be moderated.

Edmund Khoo Kim Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2017, with the headline 'Condo residents should moderate expectations, get more involved in estate matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe