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Defects in common property of strata developments in Singapore Representative actions against developers

Defects in common property of strata developments in Singapore Representative actions against... Purpose – The paper seeks to consider the basis on which a management corporation can represent original and subsequent purchasers of units in strata developments in a representative action against developers; the significance of unit owners' share values when courts award compensation; vicarious liability; and developers' use of the “independent contractor” defence in relation to its liability for defects in common property. Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyses cases from several common law jurisdictions, with a focus on Singapore Court of Appeal decisions. Findings – The paper highlights the problems posed as a result of the doctrine of privity in relation to management corporations' claims against developers for defects in common property; the implications of unit holders' share values; and the circumstances in which developers can avail themselves of the independent contractor defence. Practical implications – The paper will be instructive to developers, contractors, management corporations and both original and subsequent purchasers of units in strata developments. Originality/value – The paper brings to focus the importance of due consideration by the management corporation before it commences a representative action on behalf of the subsidiary proprietors; and also highlights procedures and/or legislation that need to be implemented, failing which there may be financial implications that can render a “successful” litigation against the developer a pyrrhic victory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Structural Survey Emerald Publishing

Defects in common property of strata developments in Singapore Representative actions against developers

Structural Survey , Volume 25 (3/4): 13 – Jul 17, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0263-080X
DOI
10.1108/02630800710772872
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The paper seeks to consider the basis on which a management corporation can represent original and subsequent purchasers of units in strata developments in a representative action against developers; the significance of unit owners' share values when courts award compensation; vicarious liability; and developers' use of the “independent contractor” defence in relation to its liability for defects in common property. Design/methodology/approach – The paper analyses cases from several common law jurisdictions, with a focus on Singapore Court of Appeal decisions. Findings – The paper highlights the problems posed as a result of the doctrine of privity in relation to management corporations' claims against developers for defects in common property; the implications of unit holders' share values; and the circumstances in which developers can avail themselves of the independent contractor defence. Practical implications – The paper will be instructive to developers, contractors, management corporations and both original and subsequent purchasers of units in strata developments. Originality/value – The paper brings to focus the importance of due consideration by the management corporation before it commences a representative action on behalf of the subsidiary proprietors; and also highlights procedures and/or legislation that need to be implemented, failing which there may be financial implications that can render a “successful” litigation against the developer a pyrrhic victory.

Journal

Structural SurveyEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 17, 2007

Keywords: Property law; Contracts; Torts; Share values; Singapore

References

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