Strata Titles Board rules that MCST has no power to permanently remove common property

In a recently concluded case of Yap Choo Moi v The MCST Plan No. 361 (“Leonie Tower”) STB No.80 of 2016, a subsidiary proprietor of a condominium successfully challenged the authority of the MCST of that condominium to permanently remove the central cooling towers that serviced the air-conditioning systems in the estate by way of the passing of a by-law. The MCST sought to rely on an additional by-law passed at an EGM in September 2016 that empowered the MCST to permanently remove the central cooling towers, related fixtures and fittings.

The Strata Titles Board (the “Board”) held that the MCST did not have the power to make the by-law, highlighting that the MCST is a creature of statute and its powers are confined to the provisions in the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (the “Act”). The Board found that it is the MCST’s duty to maintain and keep common property in a state of good and serviceable repair, that such duty is unconditional, and that there is duty to renew and replace common property when reasonably necessary to do so. However, noting that common property is owned jointly by all subsidiary proprietors in undivided shares in accordance with their share value, the Board considered that since there was no provision in the Act that allowed for the permanent removal of common property, the MCST was wrong in seeking to permanently deprive the subsidiary proprietor the use of the common property.

Straits Law Practice LLC’s Director,Ms Valerie Ang represented the subsidiary proprietor.  A copy of the full grounds of decision of the Board may be found at
http://www.mnd.gov.sg/STB_APPfiles/judgment/Leonie-Towers-STB-80-of-2016.pdf.

If you have any queries pertaining to this article, please feel free to contact Valerie Ang at valerieang@straitslaw.com.sg or the Straits Law Director who usually attends to your matters.