Before Owning a Condo - What to Know

Info-pack for Subsidiary Proprietors (SPs):

What to Know as a Condo Owner

This info-pack serves as an introduction to your new role as an owner of a condominium unit i.e. a subsidiary proprietor (SP). It will help you gain a better understanding of your duties, responsibilities, rights and restrictions, and provide you with knowledge on how strata titled developments (e.g. condominiums) are managed under the regulatory framework. Whether you have purchased the condo unit as a place of residence or as an investment, it is important for you to understand these concepts as they may directly affect you as a unit owner.

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Other stakeholders and their roles

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1.   Management Corporation (MC)

You and all other unit owners (i.e. subsidiary proprietors ‘SPs’) make up the Management Corporation (MC), which makes decisions on key issues in the estate, and is responsible for the overall maintenance and management of the estate. It is a legal entity that can sue and be sued.

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2.   Management Council and Office Bearers

The management council is made up of up to 14 elected members. This management council is a representative body that represents the Management Corporation (MC) to administer the day-to-day running of the estate, and is elected at each annual general meeting (AGM). Of these elected members, 3 are to be appointed as office bearers who hold additional responsibilities specific to their roles: the chairperson, the secretary, and the treasurer.

The management council’s roles include:
  • Acting as the managing body for the Management Corporation (MC);
  • Making daily decisions that enable the Management Corporation (MC) to operate smoothly; and
  • Run and preside over general meetings.
The council members are generally elected at annual general meetings (AGMs) and up to 14 council members can be elected. Voting in the election is on a one vote-per-unit basis. All council members will retire from office at the conclusion of the next annual general meeting (AGM), but a retiring council member will be eligible for re-election based on the eligibility criteria.

  Who can run for the management council?

To be eligible for election, you have to be at least 21 years old and:
  • A unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’); or
  • A nominee who is an immediate family member of a unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’) that nominate him or her; or
  • A nominee of a unit owner (i.e. subsidiary proprietor ‘SP’) that is a company.

Nonetheless, the management council is still subject to any restrictions placed upon it by unit owners (i.e. subsidiary proprietors ‘SPs’) in a general meeting. For instance, the unit owners (i.e. subsidiary proprietors ‘SPs’) in a general meeting can decide that for certain matters, only the Management Corporation (MC) (and not the management council) can determine such matters.

  • Chairperson:
    Runs all the meetings of the Management Corporation (MC) and rules whether a particular motion is in order. The Chairperson also oversees council meetings and general meetings.

  • Secretary:
    Arranges meetings by providing notice of the meetings, prepares and distributes meeting agendas and minutes, and maintains the strata roll. In addition, the secretary enables the inspection of documents, answers communications addressed to the Management Corporation (MC), convenes meetings of the council and of the Management Corporation (MC) and attends to matters of an administrative or secretarial nature.

  • Treasurer:
    Notifies unit owners (i.e. subsidiary proprietors ‘SPs’) of contributions levied; receives, deals with (e.g. deposits into banks) and accounts for any money paid to the Management Corporation (MC), and keeps accounting records and prepares the financial statements of the Management Corporation (MC).

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3.   Managing Agent (MA)

The Management Corporation (MC) may collectively decide (via voting) to employ a managing agent (MA) to assist in the day-to-day running of the estate. This means that there will be a dedicated person overseeing and ensuring that the estate is managed and maintained on behalf of the Management Corporation (MC).

The Management Corporation (MC) may in writing delegate to a managing agent (MA) part or all its powers, duties, and functions. This can be done via voting at a general meeting. These duties may include performing the functions of the chairman, secretary, treasurer, or the whole council.

However, the Management Corporation (MC) cannot allow the managing agent (MA) to further delegate its duties to others or make a decision on a restricted matter that can be determined only by the Management Corporation (MC) in a general meeting.

  What are accredited managing agents (MAs)?

To be eligible for election, you have to be at least 21 years old and:
These accredited managing agent (MA) individuals have gone through a structured training program and have passed an examination conducted by either the Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM) or Association of Strata Managers (ASM), and the BCA Academy, among other requirements set by the respective associations. The skill sets developed through the accreditation training program are aimed at equipping managing agents (MAs) with the capabilities to carry out duties professionally.

Besides a managing agent (MA), the Management Corporation (MC) may also need to engage service providers to maintain common property facilities and features such as the swimming pool, landscape, tennis courts, lift etc.

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4.   Government Agencies

The Commissioner of Buildings (COB) performs the following administrative functions as stipulated under the BMSMA:

  • Accept share values and approve maintenance charges;
  • Monitor holding of annual general meeting (AGM) and lodgement of by-laws; and
  • Enforce offence provisions under the BMSMA, which mainly centre on conflicts of interest of office holders in the management council.
Apart from the COB, there are other government agencies that oversee various aspects of the estate:

coming soon

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This info-pack has been prepared by the Building and Construction Authority (“BCA”), and is not intended to be a legal interpretation of laws including the BMSM Act or legal advice. Potential condominium buyers should seek professional legal advice if they wish to better understand their legal rights and duties. The Commissioner of Buildings, BCA and any other agency shall not be liable for any reliance on any information contained in this info-pack by any person.

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