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33 replies to this topic | 45 praises

#1

Posted 12 January 2016 - 10:57 AM

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Just want to gather feedback about the sequence of the AGM agenda.

 

The AGM I attend, usually the Proposed budget and monthly contributions is approved before the election of the incoming council members. Is this logical, or should the elections be conducted before the proposed budget is discussed?

 

If the approved budget is unusually low, then any incoming council member will have a very hard time operating with a tight budget. This is a major deterent to be a council member. But if the elections are conducted as the first few items of the agenda, then the incoming council members will take on more "ownership" of the proposed budget debate. Isn't this more of  a logical sequence?

 

Care to share any insights on the best MCST AGM sequence?

 



#2

Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:10 AM

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I was on the MCST 

 

I don't think it matters

 

Unless you can tell me that the incoming council has get time to meet and create a budget before presenting it - no matter what, they will have to work with what's given. 

 

In any case - it's always a challenge to get people to stand for MCST council.  


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#3

Posted 12 January 2016 - 12:09 PM

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my MCST full of shiet ppl


Edited by Mockngbrd, 12 January 2016 - 12:09 PM.

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#4

Posted 12 January 2016 - 04:11 PM

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Just want to gather feedback about the sequence of the AGM agenda.

 

The AGM I attend, usually the Proposed budget and monthly contributions is approved before the election of the incoming council members. Is this logical, or should the elections be conducted before the proposed budget is discussed?

 

If the approved budget is unusually low, then any incoming council member will have a very hard time operating with a tight budget. This is a major deterent to be a council member. But if the elections are conducted as the first few items of the agenda, then the incoming council members will take on more "ownership" of the proposed budget debate. Isn't this more of  a logical sequence?

 

Care to share any insights on the best MCST AGM sequence?

Is the approved budget at MCST even binding in the first place? Not all quotations will be in before AGM and for many of them the final prices could be way higher few months down the road. Should the MC then call EOGMs for every single item where there is no choice but for the budget to be increased , failing which no security guards , no cleaners , etc. Of course not. Treat the budget approved as a guide and do not fear it being exceeded down the road as long as can justify increase at next AGM, if questioned.


my MCST full of shiet ppl

MCSTs are mostly filled up with self-interested individuals or those that need to boost their egos.


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#5

Posted 12 January 2016 - 08:42 PM

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#6

Posted 12 January 2016 - 11:53 PM

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my MCST full of shiet ppl


My mcst has a lot of hu lan par ..... most of them are there with their own agenda.

Unless something drastic ... I usually cant be bothered

Ts .....if u want to know more about mcst i suggest that you read up the act and you will know your rights as a SP. The mc also cannot do anything they want but they have to follow the guidelines stipulated in the act.

#7

Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:01 AM

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From the proposed budget, the MA proposed the contributiion amt per share value. Some SP say too high and eventually was passed at a reduced rate.

Anyone with a common sense will know that come tail end of the year, the mcst will hv cashflow problems. Good luck to the incoming council members. MCST dont hv credit facilities.

I later found out why some SP wanted a low contribution. They were planning to sell their investment property very soon.

But in other Condo AGM, do elections come before the budget discussions?

#8

Posted 13 January 2016 - 01:53 PM

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From the proposed budget, the MA proposed the contributiion amt per share value. Some SP say too high and eventually was passed at a reduced rate.

Anyone with a common sense will know that come tail end of the year, the mcst will hv cashflow problems. Good luck to the incoming council members. MCST dont hv credit facilities.

I later found out why some SP wanted a low contribution. They were planning to sell their investment property very soon.

But in other Condo AGM, do elections come before the budget discussions?

Usually elections are after budget discussions but no strict rule on this.

 

If Maintenance Funds run short, can take from Sinking Fund (if got enough) or call for EOGM to ask for lump sum deduction. If still do not want to approve if no more money to operate  then stop cleaners, remove security guards and I bet they will approve any sum overnight.

 

People are generally short sighted and self-centered. You will be surprised with the kind of people staying in condos. AGMs serve as  is a good wake up call on the kind of neighbours you have.



#9

Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:01 PM

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First & Foremost, Building Maintenance & Strata Management Act is silent on the sequence of the Agenda Items. It is rather common for the Agenda on Contribution Rate for Management & Sinking Fund to be in the first few Items after review of the Audited Report for the last FY.
However should most SPs are agreeable, they can requested at the General Meeting for that Agenda Items to be delay till after election of Council.

#10

Posted 17 January 2016 - 10:11 PM

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There is a basis to determine the contribution rate based on the forecast of contract sum (varies depending on requirements for various services), repairs & replacement for the forthcoming year. However, I must share that different group of SPs may share different opinions on the figure due to their own interest and most do not bother about the big picture.

In event that the Management Fund Contribution Rate approved is lower, it us deem as a deficit budget and any deficit in that FY will be funded out from the Accumulated Management Fund. You cannot utilise Fund from the Accumulated Sinking Fund.

Strictly speaking, the MC should work within the approved budget but the practical approach will be to treat that as a deficit budget and handle any eventual deficit as described above.

In my opinion, it is important to ensure that the approved budget is sufficient to ensure proper upkeep & maintenance. Neglect in upkeep & maintenance can result in the development end up in a 'run-down' stage and eventually depreciation in property image & value.
Management Council, SPs and MA need to act in accordance with Building Maintenance & Strata Management Act, not anyhow they like. If acting in conflict can be an offence.

#11

Posted 18 January 2016 - 04:45 PM

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A budget is a guideline. Along the way, there will be unexpected expenses. E.g falling tree branches, burst pipes, pool pumps failing prematurely, security company withdrawing and new tenders quote higher prices. The MCST using their collective skills will have to manage the incidents using resources and skills available within the MCST. Do not expect the Managing Agent to be of much help as the condo manager is usually inexperienced.

 

The most important part of the AGM is the previous year's expenses and what huge expenses are expected to be made this year E.g. lifts replacement or repainting. Then see if the Sinking Fund and  Management Fund balance/excess/contributions can cover the expected spend. If NO, then increase in conservancy is logical. Do not veto increase, otherwise there will not be enough funds to maintain and the condo gets run down very quickly, losing its value and ability to find new owners.

 

Lastly, if you are a lawyer, engineer, architect, horticulturist, your skills will always help the MCST do a better job. Volunter to join the MCST. It is a thankless job, but if no one wants to do it, the MA will take easy way out and the estate will run out of funds or be badly maintained. 



#12

Posted 18 January 2016 - 05:20 PM

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I stayed in a mixed development and 90% of the council members are from the commercial side....every year AGM, the group nominate and second each others and prevent other from joining as council members.  How to break them up? 



#13

Posted 18 January 2016 - 05:58 PM

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I stayed in a mixed development and 90% of the council members are from the commercial side....every year AGM, the group nominate and second each others and prevent other from joining as council members.  How to break them up? 

 

1. You need to get enough non-commercial SPs to attend, or if they cannot attend, they pass their voting rights to you. The more share value votes you can gather the better.

 

2. At AGM, when chairman suggests number of seats in the next council (usually odd number), speak out that the composition of the Coincil should reflect same mix of the estate based on shared value. Usually the residential share-value will outnumber the commercial share-value. But it is hard to get residential SP to join Council, so unless more step forward, the commercial side will dominate MCST.

 

3. If there are more nominations than seats, a vote will be called. Candidates with most votes get into the Council. Use your own and additional nominated voting rights to vote for non-commercial SPs willing to stand, so that they get more votes and a place in MCST

 



#14

Posted 19 January 2016 - 10:24 AM

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Thanks everyone for your inputs.

 

From my own experience with various MCSTs, I observed a common trend.

 

The ones who talk a lot, are the clueless ones, who wanna be seen as a decision maker.

 

The professional ones.. business owners, lawyers, accountants, will not volunteer their expertise because it seems like this is a worthless cause, and they have better things to do than to debate with clueless people. 

 

The MA will usually proposed a balanced budget, but somehow.. the buffer will always get removed, till even the minimum balance in bank account also not covered. end up start owing cleaners, SP service, pool contractor, once every three months. If any SP pays late.. the situation even more dire.

 

Even when told there is a requirement to paint every 5 years, and the sinking fund have to slowly build up to fund the cyclical maintenance, the sinking fund was voted to its minimum, with the rationale.. when the time comes.. then call for special levy.

 

To see such a situation is disturbing. I realise that in today's world.. to be fiscally irresponsible is perfectly acceptable. There seem to be no minimum standards for common sense.

 

This is one area.. I think the Town Councils structure have done a better job.

 

 

 

 


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#15

Posted 19 January 2016 - 10:50 AM

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if i is MCST i will hire many xmm prc cleaners


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#16

Posted 19 January 2016 - 12:16 PM

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Generally, those condos where the majority of residents are owner occupiers will be better maintained as the owners take a long term view of funds needed vs maintenance and running expenses.

 

Those condos where mostly tenanted or bought for investment, the owners will vote down any spending or conservancy increases. To maximise their rental profits while waiting for capital appreciation, to sell their unit.

 

The progressive wage model for guards and gardeners are  examples where costs will increase year by year. If conservancy is not increased, be prepared for security lapses and plants dying. If the condo is mainly tenanted, the owners don't care about these things or even form a Council. The condo quickly falls into disrepair. The owner-occupiers will move out due to bad behaviour of tenants and deterioriating environment.



#17

Posted 19 January 2016 - 01:13 PM

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Thanks everyone for your inputs.

 

From my own experience with various MCSTs, I observed a common trend.

 

The ones who talk a lot, are the clueless ones, who wanna be seen as a decision maker.

 

The professional ones.. business owners, lawyers, accountants, will not volunteer their expertise because it seems like this is a worthless cause, and they have better things to do than to debate with clueless people. 

 

The MA will usually proposed a balanced budget, but somehow.. the buffer will always get removed, till even the minimum balance in bank account also not covered. end up start owing cleaners, SP service, pool contractor, once every three months. If any SP pays late.. the situation even more dire.

 

Even when told there is a requirement to paint every 5 years, and the sinking fund have to slowly build up to fund the cyclical maintenance, the sinking fund was voted to its minimum, with the rationale.. when the time comes.. then call for special levy.

 

To see such a situation is disturbing. I realise that in today's world.. to be fiscally irresponsible is perfectly acceptable. There seem to be no minimum standards for common sense.

 

This is one area.. I think the Town Councils structure have done a better job.

I have witnessed where  a hefty increase in monthly maintenance fees of $120 a month is approved without even a single dissenting vote  in a Dist 11 condo (50% of units leased out) and yet in a suburban condo an hour is spent arguing over  $8 a  month increase with motion not being passed in the end. Depends very much on the quality  of residents staying in that condo which correlates to the location/value of the condo.


Edited by Nav14, 19 January 2016 - 01:14 PM.


#18

Posted 19 January 2016 - 01:24 PM

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Generally, those condos where the majority of residents are owner occupiers will be better maintained as the owners take a long term view of funds needed vs maintenance and running expenses.

 

Those condos where mostly tenanted or bought for investment, the owners will vote down any spending or conservancy increases. To maximise their rental profits while waiting for capital appreciation, to sell their unit.

 

The progressive wage model for guards and gardeners are  examples where costs will increase year by year. If conservancy is not increased, be prepared for security lapses and plants dying. If the condo is mainly tenanted, the owners don't care about these things or even form a Council. The condo quickly falls into disrepair. The owner-occupiers will move out due to bad behaviour of tenants and deterioriating environment.

These self centred investors fail to realise that a badly maintained condo due to restricted funds will affect the value of their investments.

 

Hardworking and motivated councils are also in a difficult situation as they face a scenario today where rapidly increasing costs still result in poorer service standards by the vendors. Security & cleaning costs for a condo have increased by 50-70% over the past 3-4 years but the quality of guards / cleaners has declined due to severe manpower shortage. Condos are at a mercy of security firms as they know the next replacement will be no better or worst than the one being replaced. They are forced to accept lower standards at increasing cost. Ironically the progressive wage model for guards benefits Malaysians more than Singaporeans as almost 70% of the security guards today are Malaysians. In fact for my condo it is 90%



#19

Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:12 PM

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Another disturbing trend which I noticed in my constituency, at least,  is that the Neighbourhood Committees members are muscling their way into condo Management Councils where they stay as it makes it easier for them to promote the agenda of the NCs with little dissension. I am not sure they are acting on some central directive or only the particular NC in my area has adopted this modus operandi. The NC under which my condo is, oversees a few condos  and most of the NC members are also members of the Management Councils in their respective condos.

In my condo they have been creating a lot of havoc over the years. Instead of bringing communities together they have been splitting them up.

Another phenomenon is that a particular expat community has gained majority control of the council in my condo and understand this is common in other condos as well. Some of them join just so that they can organise some functions for their own community using MCST funds. The ones to be blamed for letting this happen is the apathetic locals who never bother to attend AGMs or get more involved in councils (let others do the messy job) but only turn up when their Maintenance Fund is to be increased.



#20

Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:23 PM

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These self centred investors fail to realise that a badly maintained condo due to restricted funds will affect the value of their investments.

 

Hardworking and motivated councils are also in a difficult situation as they face a scenario today where rapidly increasing costs still result in poorer service standards by the vendors. Security & cleaning costs for a condo have increased by 50-70% over the past 3-4 years but the quality of guards / cleaners has declined due to severe manpower shortage. Condos are at a mercy of security firms as they know the next replacement will be no better or worst than the one being replaced. They are forced to accept lower standards at increasing cost. Ironically the progressive wage model for guards benefits Malaysians more than Singaporeans as almost 70% of the security guards today are Malaysians. In fact for my condo it is 90%

 

Fully agree. So far my condo has bucked this trend by keeping the same local or malaysian guards and cleaners for almost ten years. Contractors change, but the staff remain. We built into the new contract that the existing staff must be employed by the new contractor with wages and leave specified. We pay a bit more, but get quality, trustworthiness, and no need to re-train. The new contractor likes the arrangement as then they do not need to source for additonal manpower which is in short supply. The ground staff are happy to stay even though their increment is small as workig conditions are good. It takes effort by the Council to be on top of things, and make effort to connect with ground staff. Cannot depend on the MA to do this as MA is appointed year to year.
 


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