Jump to content
BANGKOK 21 February 2019 15:08
Chris Po

We have no committee anymore but management does not care.

Recommended Posts

I do agree that vigilantism is not a good strategy and my suggestion was not to break rules to prove a point but to get the developer to get their act together.
 
I.e. a developer that does not do any bookkeeping, budgeting, nor holds any AGMs, should not expect co-owners to just pay whatever invoice is sent to them.
 
By law you are required to pay for your share of the common expenses, but it is only fair that the developer provides some sort of documentation to prove these expenses are legit, and it is perfectly fine to question an invoice, asking for these documents, which by law, the developer should provide.
 
It is of course important that you make it clear that you are not paying an invoice because you are awaiting these documents.
 
And of course you should also file a complaint with the Land Office.
Does filing a complaint with land office do anything effectual?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, JayBird said:

Does filing a complaint with land office do anything effectual?

The Land Office is not to be confused with a court (which can actually issue fines etc.), but it provides a dated written trail of the situation, which can be very useful to have later, should the case end up in court or mediation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, smutcakes said:

They bye laws are registered with the relevant authorities as a condition precedent to being approved as a Juristic Condominium and for transfer of units to commence. So if the developer has registered it as a condo then there are bye laws already in affect.

 

If you have transferred your unit then you are duty bound to pay the condo maintenance fees even if there are many problems surrounding them. As much as it may stick in the throat it is never a good position to argue from if you yourself are breaching the regulations as a means of trying to prove a point. You should pay the fees as per the condo regulations and fight your corner from a position of strength rather than not.

Plus, buying a condo is buying into a community living environment. And obviously that means everybody concerned contributing to creating and maintaining a pleasant, safe, secure place to live, and more.

 

Also meaning there has to be somes rules and regulations and hopefully not too many.

 

And it's not going to work when individual condo owners try to 'go it alone'.

 

Example my old condo in Bkk, 24 floors, one young Thai lady (unit owner) insisted that the auto locking door to the lift area (with all owners having a proximity card), be disabled 24 hours a day so that her friends could visit unhindered by the security door on the ground floor.

 

Several times she approached the maintenance team and the security guards trying to demand they disable the lock on the security door. Asking her to recognize that other families, many with kids lived in the building and they wanted security was a waste of time 'not my problem' etc.

 

Just by chance a senior cop bought a large condo in the building, pleasant guy, young family, and he made it clear he wanted to abide by the condo rules. When he was told about the errant young lady who wanted no security he visited her, with 2 committee members. It seems that the cop kept emphasising, in her face, that she was selfish and ignoring that she owned a unit in a community living scenario.

 

After a few months she sold and moved out. She told others she just couldn't cope with the 'rules', 'I want no rules about anything'. The senior cop discovered she had a long list of driving offences and every time she tried the line 'I don't like rules and I don't want rules about how to drive, it's up to me'. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, lkn said:

If no initial meeting has been held, there would be no bylaws that state the management fee. Is there a sales contract that says anything about management fee?

 

Personally I would probably tell the developer that I will pay common expenses proportional to my ratio of ownership, but they must either present me with proper books or the actual bills (electricity, water, etc.) and I will pay based on that.

 

Non-mandatory expenses that have not been agreed to by the co-owners (i.e. by proposing a budget on the AGM) I would not pay, this could e.g. be salaries to contractors beyond what is reasonable.

 

This assumes that your condominium has been registered more than 6 months ago, i.e. that the developer is clearly in the wrong by not having held the initial General Meeting with proposed budget, bylaws, etc.

All meaning that's it's highly desirable that the office manager must (repeat must) prepare a document every month and delivered to every condo and put on public easily viewed notice board with full details of income and expenditure.

 

From my previous experience being an owner in Bkk, this document also needs to be independently audited and signed that it's correct.

 

Just one example of what can and does happen: This document was prepared every 6 months by the office manager in my old condo, it always mentioned a main insurance on the actual structure and on the equipments etc., yearly premium something like 500,000Baht.

 

At a nasty owners meeting an accountant (unit owner) asked to see all the current and past insurance documents. Office manager refused saying they were confidential. After some serious demands the documents were produced. A thorough analysis revealed:

 

- There was a policy document, issued by an insurance company, some 20 years earlier. 

 

- On statements of actual outgoings premium payments were mentioned for 20 years but no receipt documents from the insurance company could be found.

 

- Several owners went to the insurance company, insisted on talking to a senior exec., of the company asking for confirmation that premiums had or had not been received for the previous 20 years? (Give us a written complete answer or we go to the police.)

 

- A couple of days later a letter from insurance co., stating , no payment not even for the first year had ever been received by the insurance company.

 

- Police were called, it was eventually discovered that cheques had been issued in the name of the office manager and had been deposited into bank accounts owned by the office manager.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, scorecard said:

All meaning that's it's highly desirable that the office manager must (repeat must) prepare a document every month and delivered to every condo and put on public easily viewed notice board with full details of income and expenditure.

  

From my previous experience being an owner in Bkk, this document also needs to be independently audited and signed that it's correct.

A monthly income and expenditure report must be posted to the bulletin board. The JPM is liable for a fine if this is not done (within the first 15 days of each month).

 

The independently audited report is the yearly financial report to be presented at the AGM (balance sheet with profit and loss).

 

Majority of the AGM attendees actually appoint the auditor, so in theory they could appoint one of the big four accounting firms, if they suspect foul play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lkn said:

A monthly income and expenditure report must be posted to the bulletin board. The JPM is liable for a fine if this is not done (within the first 15 days of each month).

That is what should happen, but how to prove it if it doesnt? I may say there is no cash-flow report posted but management may say there is. How can the Land Office decide who is telling the truth or whether to impose a fine or not? And the requirement is only that a report has to be posted. It could be a report full of errors and omissions and there is no Land Office penalty for that.

 

2 hours ago, lkn said:

Majority of the AGM attendees actually appoint the auditor, so in theory they could appoint one of the big four accounting firms, if they suspect foul play.

I know of buildings that have ignored the choice of auditor voted by co-owners and which have used another more "friendly" one, at higher cost. Given that management hold all the documents it would not be easy for co-owners to get another auditor to check things. Besides which Thai audits are very cursory and of little real value.

Edited by KittenKong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, scorecard said:

- A couple of days later a letter from insurance co., stating , no payment not even for the first year had ever been received by the insurance company.

 

- Police were called, it was eventually discovered that cheques had been issued in the name of the office manager and had been deposited into bank accounts owned by the office manager.

This sort of thing happens far more often than most people realise. Massive scams happen here and this type of fraud is common.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, KittenKong said:

That is what should happen, but how to prove it if it doesnt? I may say there is no cash-flow report posted but management may say there is. How can the Land Office decide who is telling the truth or whether to impose a fine or not? And the requirement is only that a report has to be posted. It could be a report full of errors and omissions and there is no Land Office penalty for that.

For the Land Office, this is not the institution that issues fines, those are issued by a court of law.

 

As for proving that financial reports are not posted, one way would be to take a photo of the bulletin board the 15th of each month, send this to the JPM, and ask when to expect the report, and request a photo be taken and sent back, to prove that it has been posted (or simply request a copy of the monthly report).

 

If you have six months of these emails, you have a pretty good case against the JPM, assuming the bulletin board has stayed unchanged in this period.

 

As for reports that are misleading, that is why there is the yearly externally audited report.

 

But I was simply clarifying @scorecard’s statement about what laws surround the financial statements, I wasn’t saying that these laws alone will guarantee that everything runs smoothly.

 

If you have managers that ignore the wishes of co-owners, cook the books, and bribe auditors, well, you sure are in a mess, fortunately I have not met any such building, but if I ran into one, I would imagine that taking on a lawyer and get a court ruling would be the way to go, as surely the managers have made themselves complicit in all sorts of crimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lkn said:

As for proving that financial reports are not posted, one way would be to take a photo of the bulletin board the 15th of each month, send this to the JPM, and ask when to expect the report, and request a photo be taken and sent back, to prove that it has been posted (or simply request a copy of the monthly report).

Photos prove little. Dates on them can be changed very easily. Even if one takes a photo with today's newspaper and a blank space on the bulletin board it would be easy for management to say that there was a document but that it had been removed before the photo was taken. In the same way it would be easy to put a document up, take a photo and then remove the document.

 

2 hours ago, lkn said:

As for reports that are misleading, that is why there is the yearly externally audited report.

Such audits are a complete joke here. Even the best of them are next to worthless and just confirm that the addition is correct.

 

2 hours ago, lkn said:

If you have managers that ignore the wishes of co-owners, cook the books, and bribe auditors, well, you sure are in a mess, fortunately I have not met any such building, but if I ran into one, I would imagine that taking on a lawyer and get a court ruling would be the way to go, as surely the managers have made themselves complicit in all sorts of crimes.

Let's suppose that someone owns a small condo in a building with crooked management. Is that person going to engage a lawyer at huge expense and wait for several years for Thai justice to run its course, at the end of which there would probably just be a small fine and no possibility of recovering either costs or any missing common fees? Or is that person just going to grin and bear it? Or sell up quick at a loss and go elsewhere?

I think I know which I would do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, for my self, paid the maintanace fee already,...and also the other owners i know personal. 

Our problem is that we want a good management, not a management working for the developer, we want a management working for us, we pay them..... ! 

Since the old committee resigns they behave like "half-gods", they make what THEY think is good, dont ask the owners,.....- and of course we are not happy with this. 

Many owners complained that there is no EGM, but they did not make one, even there is no committee. 

So we want the AGM that brings a strong Committee- the owners live here have a "Team" already in plan,....and of course we want a JPM working for us , too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  3 hours ago, lkn said:

As for proving that financial reports are not posted, one way would be to take a photo of the bulletin board the 15th of each month, send this to the JPM, and ask when to expect the report, and request a photo be taken and sent back, to prove that it has been posted (or simply request a copy of the monthly report).

Photos prove little. Dates on them can be changed very easily. Even if one takes a photo with today's newspaper and a blank space on the bulletin board it would be easy for management to say that there was a document but that it had been removed before the photo was taken. In the same way it would be easy to put a document up, take a photo and then remove the document.

 

  3 hours ago, lkn said:

As for reports that are misleading, that is why there is the yearly externally audited report.

Such audits are a complete joke here. Even the best of them are next to worthless and just confirm that the addition is correct.

 

  3 hours ago, lkn said:

If you have managers that ignore the wishes of co-owners, cook the books, and bribe auditors, well, you sure are in a mess, fortunately I have not met any such building, but if I ran into one, I would imagine that taking on a lawyer and get a court ruling would be the way to go, as surely the managers have made themselves complicit in all sorts of crimes.

"Let's suppose that someone owns a small condo in a building with crooked management. Is that person going to engage a lawyer at huge expense and wait for several years for Thai justice to run its course, at the end of which there would probably just be a small fine and no possibility of recovering either costs or any missing common fees? Or is that person just going to grin and bear it? Or sell up quick at a loss and go elsewhere?

I think I know which I would do."

And there is some risk that you will be branded as a trouble maker 

- 'don't make waves, not nice'.

 

 

Edited by scorecard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, KittenKong said:

Photos prove little. Dates on them can be changed very easily. Even if one takes a photo with today's newspaper and a blank space on the bulletin board it would be easy for management to say that there was a document but that it had been removed before the photo was taken. In the same way it would be easy to put a document up, take a photo and then remove the document.

Sure, anything is possible. But the person doing this is committing further fraud, making themselves liable to even more punishment.

 

And remember this would happen in a court setting, so they would have to convince a judge. If you have multiple co-owners with letters showing they repeatedly requested the monthly report, filed a complaint with the Land Office, maybe the Land Office even sent out a person to the building to check, and their report will be submitted as evidence as well, etc.

 

Though you can always construct a hypothetical which resemble Kafka’s The Trial, or where your building manager is Pablo Escobar, and maybe you feel that you live in such world, but it is not the Thailand that I experience, despite problems with corruption and incompetence.

 

14 hours ago, KittenKong said:

Let's suppose that someone owns a small condo in a building with crooked management. Is that person going to engage a lawyer at huge expense and wait for several years for Thai justice to run its course, at the end of which there would probably just be a small fine and no possibility of recovering either costs or any missing common fees? Or is that person just going to grin and bear it? Or sell up quick at a loss and go elsewhere?

Engaging a lawyer is not the first step, and exactly what to do would depend on the situation. I am basically just following your hypotheticals with the logical next step, but as said before, your hypotheticals are pretty far out there, e.g. managers that refuse to use the auditor that is appointed by the co-owners: Surely something is seriously wrong in such case, and that management company has to go ASAP! And if the co-owners can’t manage this on their own, they need to bring someone who can help them, even if it has a price, because the long-term cost is much higher, not just money, but take how cynical and pessimistic you yourself has become, I would say that is also a pretty high price of living in a building controlled by gangsters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, lkn said:

Engaging a lawyer is not the first step, and exactly what to do would depend on the situation. I am basically just following your hypotheticals with the logical next step, but as said before, your hypotheticals are pretty far out there, e.g. managers that refuse to use the auditor that is appointed by the co-owners: Surely something is seriously wrong in such case, and that management company has to go ASAP! And if the co-owners can’t manage this on their own, they need to bring someone who can help them, even if it has a price, because the long-term cost is much higher, not just money, but take how cynical and pessimistic you yourself has become, I would say that is also a pretty high price of living in a building controlled by gangsters.

I think you have a lot to learn about what happens in some buildings in some places here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...