Management Corporation Strata Title
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MCSTs act like a management corporation that overlooks all activities within a strata-titled development.
Management Corporation Strata Title (MCSTs) are council bodies that take care of all strata development, including public spaces like industrial facilities, swimming pool, shopping centres, private condominiums, security guards, and multi complexes with shared facilities and ownership.
The BMSMA (Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act) governs these council officials, which imposes draconian resolutions regarding facilities management in condos and flats.
The act lays down the rules for the legal framework for MCSTs, which gets amended regularly. The key changes in the act after the last amendment include limiting the number of proxy votes and the requirement of explicit consent. The maintenance fee structure was also transparent and gave unit owners more autonomy.
We shall discuss more on these in the article, so continue reading below:
What do you mean by MCST?
Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) is a juridical entity of management that oversees the strata development of properties like in Singapore. MCSTs are given power by law to administer and look after all strata-titled properties.
These regulatory bodies are associated with private strata developments and collect monthly rents, including management fees paid to the concerned party as a maximum maintenance charge.
There is also an appointed managing agent whose duty is to supervise the fulfillment of various tasks within the property, failing which residents will have to endure the inconveniences.
What are the duties of the MCST?
- Property appreciation includes maintaining common facilities within the compound and ensuring that everything is in good condition, with functional parts and occasional replacements whenever needed.
- Management of all commonly used properties to benefit subsidiary owners
- Oversee initiatives that encourage community development, such as upgrading old facilities or organizing recreational activities.
- Insurance of all the common property within the bounds of the compound/property while complying with the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act.
Why do you need MCSTs?
It’s not easy to generalize the duties of the MCST since they overlook a broad spectrum of functions such as daily cleaning ups, renovations, improving public facilities, and even ensuring the health and welfare of the compound where people reside.
In short, you can say that the primary duty of the MCST body is community development and maintenance of the property, making sure everything is working in tiptop condition. In the long run, with higher maintenance charges, MCSTs can contribute to better living standards for many people.
The need for MCSTs is understated. Without this council appointing a managing agent for the property, there will be no one to overlook the needs of the residents and the property itself. Depreciation of the property’s value can happen without proper maintenance, which can only be done through MCSTs.
What purpose do MCSTs serve?
You can consider the MCST as a management corporation that maintains all common property and condo facilities. This will include keeping all the plumbers, mechanics, electricians, technicians, gardeners, and security guards of the property paid for. Strata owners are responsible for appointing an agent for condo management and building management for all residential developments.
Since the primary duty of the MCST is the daily management of private housing trends in Singapore, there may come a time when these amenities need to be renovated and improved upon. This is where the MCST (Management Corporation – Strata Title Plan) comes into play. They are responsible for managing the land, parcels, and common properties.
Strata unit owners have developed homes in areas with shared ownership of nearby locations such as swimming pools, safety fittings, private condominiums, shopping centres, parks, gymnasiums, and other safety equipment. To take care of and maintain such entities, the MCST body is needed to oversee the performance and status.
How do MCSTs come about?
The official name of the council is “The Management Corporation- Strata Title Plan No. [_]. ” This number will be provided by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) which is unique to every corporation.
Under the supervision of the BCA, the MCST is formed when the property owner forwards the strata title application plan to the authorities, generally, the Chief Surveyor of the region.
The developer also needs to submit a start title application to the Singapore Land Authority’s Registrar of Titles once the construction is completed till the roof level and ready for occupancy.
Anyone who purchases their individual unit within the development is automatically a member of the Management Council. For 12 months, from the time of the MCST’s formation till the first Annual General Meeting (AGM), it is known as the “Initial Period.”
How does the MCST function?
During the initial period AGM meeting, all subsidiary unit owners of the property come together to elect offer bearers for the following posts:
- Council members
Within the 12-month time frame, the property owners appoint a management council under their care so that they can also appoint a Management Agent to take care of tasks regularly within the property compound.
The unit owners also need to open a bank account at a recognized financial institution holding the MCST name, where all the money collected from the building tenants is deposited. The maintenance fund is taken care of by a third party that takes care of auditing of funds in this regard.
After 12 months, the unit owners will organize the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This meeting will cover all the needs of the building and residents of the building, plus the maintenance.
There is a limit of 14 natural persons chosen during this extraordinary general meeting. If there are quarrels between subsidiary proprietors, it is settled through the council during the extraordinary general meeting.
The developer will then hand overall power to the council to handle the MCST. It will include control over the accounting of all strata development, including common property and industrial facilities, sports facilities, fire safety equipment, security systems, parking space, and other commercial buildings within residential boundaries.
Next, the MCST members can appoint a managing agent to overlook specific tasks within the strata development. The council will also decide on the responsibilities of the managing agent.
Suppose the Commissioner of Buildings understands that the agent is not doing a good enough job at maintaining the estate according to basic standards. The council will have to reappoint another managing agent.
What can you do in case of conflict?
If the residents and the MCST members are in dispute, you can go to one of either regulatory bodies:
- The Singapore Mediation Centre
- The Community Mediation Centre
If the dispute is not settled amicably, the Commissioner of Buildings can appoint a manager to resolve the clash. If this also fails, you can ask for the STB’s (Strata Titles Board) intervention which will incur an application fee of S$500.
Recent laws on MCSTs:
- Transparent maintenance charges: Developers cannot collect more than the mandated amount as maintenance fees.
- Limited proxy votes: MCST members can only hold 2% of the total number of lots within the development. This was done to assure the active involvement of unit owners in the decision-making process.
- Unit owners can install safety units: The only criterion is that the additional safety equipment of the unit owner should not drastically change to look of the property or building.
- Requirement of explicit content: all subsidiary proprietors need to give their explicit consent before being appointed to the council
Double-hatting is prohibited: Office bearers of the council cannot hold more than two posts.
How to find managing agents for MCSTs?
The managing agent appointed by the council is the go-to person for all the daily maintenance needs of the building. It is recommended that the managing agents be listed through some accreditation scheme categories by well-known organizations.
Some of the most well-known management corporations in Singapore with a proper record for strata homes are:
- Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV)
- Chambers Property management Services Pte Ltd
- Association of Property and Facility Managers (APFM)
All these subsidiary legislations work towards the assurance of top-quality services through a competent managing agent with an excellent track record. When you appoint your managing agent through these organizations, you get the guarantee that only professionals are selected for the MCST for your property.
If you’re more hands-on, you can visit the property on your own and thoroughly inspect how well the MCST agent is doing their job at taking care of the property.
What does a condo management company do?
The role of a Condo Management Company is that the property/building is in tiptop condition, with no need for repairs or upgrades. The condo should be living up to its environmental standards, with fully functional facilities. The CMC also mediates between the property owners and residents, managing its finances and ensuring that the risks of CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) violations are known by both parties.
Do MCSTs have Unique Entity Numbers (UEN)?
Yes, all MCSTs have UEN numbers issued by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). If you want to find your UEN number, you can look it up on the official BCA portal by entering your MCST number, the name of the development that the MCST comes under, or the location of the building.
What do you mean by Management Corporation?
The Management Corporation is the official name of the MCST, which manages all strata-titled buildings, also known as parcels. The MC is also responsible for managing common facilities and the development land, ensuring that it is in good condition and functional.
Which legislations deal with MCSTs in Singapore?
There are three central legislative bodies that deal with MCSTs in Singapore:
- The Strata Title Act 1985
- The Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007
- Strata Management Act 2013
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