Plan, plan and plan some more

QUESTION: Is Stonewall Central a better name for the property?
UPDATE (click): 2012 Audited Financial Statements
UPDATE (click): 2013 Annual Meeting packet
UPDATE (click): 2013 Special Meeting packet

AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ANALYSIS 2009-2012 (click): A CPA analysis of SOHO Central Condominium Corporation's Audited Financial Statements

The Fantasy Vision

Does everyone remember this among the wonderful ads and brochures and how about the salespeople and what they told us. I hear such fantasies continue. So after watching and remembering, cry and then laugh at the truth that is being exposed.









And, if the above is not enough and you need elevated blood pressure, here is the project's brochure.

Many posts are still issues and need to be read once again. At this main hub of postings watch for new posts and updates. Please get involved by spreading the word as to the issues here. We must document all that is taking place. Many documents need retrieval and assistance is needed in getting them scanned and posted.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Soho Central not running well

Soho Central not running well

There were a few entities involved with the establishment of the condominium corporation comprising the land and building.

As was mentioned at a gathering I attended, "businesses can't be a partner in profit only."  I thought to myself, yes, there are also liabilities.  The elevators in Soho Central are just one example.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Real Estate Property Tax for UNITS!!!

Real Estate Property Tax for UNITS!!!

I had written and talked about this with many in the past, pay your real estate property tax for the unit(s) before the end of January 2015. There is a 10% discount unlike the 20% in Marikina from what I read. This is the real estate property tax for the UNIT. I think many are still not aware of this tax. Why? There has not been a clear explanation from what I have noted. The common real estate property tax in the Soho Central Condominium Corporation bills is for the common property of the building. It is not the real estate property tax for individual units. Some may not have paid the tax for their units and will have to pay for past years with penalties. So time to get caught up on your individual unit(s) now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Something New is Old Again

Something New is Old Again

So many occurrences with the elevators that when you think you have experienced all bad that can happen something new and bad once again strikes.

Yesterday, Passenger Elevator 4 (PE4) stopped and I got on with another person and it then stopped at the 15th floor and a woman had to press the button since by the time she got to the car it was closing.  When the doors opened each side seemed to slam into the side as it sounded.  What is that all about?

In fact, what are all the details and the full & complete story with all backup documents concerning the elevators?

I know many renters have left and was told recently by just one broker that three more are leaving and six more may go early next year.  I was also told that Twin Oaks, a Greenfield project, has mostly Soho residents moving in.

Late at night only one elevator was working and the Service Elevator from what I was told was not operating.

PE4 doors also seemed to struggle to open the day before and the entire system of what was operating seemed slow with wait times to be around 10 minutes. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

OK, What Has Been Going on with the Elevators Since 2009?

OK, What Has Been Going on with the Elevators Since 2009?

I know you have read my writings and heard me talk not just on this but many other topics.  You have experienced the elevators and other problems in the building thinking it is too much and many of you give up not acting.  The experience for many in the last couple of days has been greater decline in the elevators when I was told four were put back on a few days ago.

I laugh when I hear this since they eventually fail again.

The holidays are coming and many Unit Owners not living here full time are visiting.  Welcome and please let us know what you think.  Time to start writing and calling the various government agencies and all media outlets to let them know about every single problem with this building.

The entire file with all documents ever in possession of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation (SCCC) regarding the elevators needs to be copied and placed in at least one binder so all Unit Owners, legal “Members” of the SCCC, may read at least some of the history.  The papers from the developers/builder are another matter.


The mechanics and the awful restoration of the entrances of two elevators need to be fully fixed, functioning, safe and government inspected before any turning over to the condominium corporation.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Sale

Christmas Sale

Is this really a Christmas Sale?  Or, is something serious coming with some developers/builders getting the glut turned bubble units reserved by as many buyers as possible?  Yes, articles and talk out there continues as well as building and more building.

I had shown this flier to a broker/caretaker and the immediate comment was, what is going to happen with resell?  Yes, what will now happen with resell.  It is past the time when all Unit Owners needed to be much more concerned and involved with the building's maintenance and management.  Time to now get involved and learn about the history of the building and all documents from the beginning.  Resell will be tough and tougher when a building is in decline.

Let us pray the glut turned bubble does not see total collapse.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Should the pool be shut down?

Should the pool be shut down?

Yes, Unit Owners, we need to be realistic and look at the facts.  There have been many complaints about the high rates charged by the contractual services.  There have been no Annual Meetings or Special Meetings electing a Board.  While there was a quorum declared by those controlling the meeting in 2011, the meeting had voting procedures that violated the rules and law.  So Unit Owners have not had elected voices to control costs.

Again, Unit Owners are under law "Members" of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation.  Think of members as stockholders.  Your stock is tanking.

There are according to what has been stated approximately 100 units in arrears.  These delinquent Unit Owners then place the burden upon all others paying their bills.  I fully understand that some may be having financial difficulties, others may object to the continuing problems and the rest are not paying for no reason except to not pay what is owed.

For the first two, please announce clearly what the issue is for not paying.  Those not paying in protest, have you spoken to a lawyer or placed all money owed in a bank account showing some sort of good faith?  For those not paying for no good reason, why not sell your unit?

So I would think that a great expense to the condominium corporation is the pool.  Given the factors above, are there any other ideas?  I know of some but we need more voices.  The bank account should have had more money for future issues.

Tenants moving out

Tenants moving out

Yes, I have heard about and know tenants that have left since they are sick and tired of the deteriorating conditions of the building.  I have just been sent a text telling me of more tenants wanting to move due to serious elevator problems that have caused excessive inconvenience and being stuck inside an elevator.

Hello, Unit Owners, legal Members of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation, you are losing your investment.  I have been told some now want to sell but who will buy and at what price?

As for those of us who live in our unit as owners, what do we all need to do?  The newspapers are out there.  The various governments agencies are out there.  All aspects of this building need attention for audits and complete examination.

It is time to take action.

Who not just What accepted

Who not just What accepted


What is the list of systems or particular aspects of the building accepted at and after turnover?  What entity accepted?  Who and why were these accepted?  Are they working and fully operational or in good order?

So many questions never answered since turnover and so many items promised and never fully installed and functioning such as the elevators.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BIG Discounts from __________________!

BIG Discounts from __________________!

I have read a text a friend received that is not being advertised as far as to the public in general.  This well known developer/builder is offering a 45% discount on a well advertised building, 35% on another project in the business district, and 15% & 10% on two other well known projects but close to turnover and near completion, respectively.

Why the discounts?  Cash needed since all the developers/builders seem to have a pyramid type of construction scheme?  Or, is this also due to all the talk and writing on the bubble ready to burst seeking buyers to sign up quickly?

All buyers be very careful.  This same friend also has some primary basic rules on buying:  Never buy prebuilt; See 7-9 units before buying; and, Do not buy in any building with streets surrounding that flood.

MegaWorld

MegaWorld

I have posted about the condo industry in the Philippines and the warning signs of what we saw as a glut then bubble and now the talk about the bubble bursting and a crash.  Vietnam opening up their market is not good news for the Philippines especially if they have higher standards.  The article was posted not long ago here on the blog.

I was recently given this flier and wonder why the discount and special offers.  Is MegaWorld preparing for the bubble to burst and getting buyers quickly signed up?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Elevators Not Getting Better

Elevators Not Getting Better

A new development, Passenger Elevator 4 (PE4) which has problems had two buttons for the 29th and 17th floors taped not allowing for them to be pressed.  Here is a photo:


Now the 25th floor was taped yesterday.  Floor by floor, elevator by elevator this building is not headed towards fully functioning safe elevators.  Just think, this is just one of the problems.

We need to know what other systems were accepted or not accepted and if they are operating.  As a possible example, the intercom has been a problem since moving here.  Currently, the 21st floor intercom does not work.  Was this a system accepted?  If so, why?


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Elevators Spiraling Down

Elevators Spiraling Down

You will note in this previous post as others the serious situation residents face in the building with the elevators not being in a proper condition as to what was expected by buyers before turnover in 2009.

http://sohocentralcondominium.blogspot.com/2014/12/season-of-giving-and-receiving.html

This entire matter is disgusting and shame on all those responsible for the suffering imposed upon others.

I was going to write a couple of days ago and will do so now with updates.  To start with a new development, Passenger Elevator 4 (PE4) which was on then off manual is now minimally functioning without being on manual.  Twice when entered from the lobby I experienced the doors trying to close two times by themselves with the third time being successful followed by the loud & obnoxious ringing alarm when the elevators are kept open too long.  It does not feel safe.

That elevator now has two buttons for the 29th and 17th floors taped not allowing for them to be pressed.  Here is a photo:



IS THERE ANY HELP OUT THERE ANYWHERE?

The other day when I was going to write this message Passenger Elevator 2 (PE2) was working but there was a bumpy feeling going up. Other problems that day were the buttons not working and then working.  Each day brings a new experience.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Study the Documents

Study the Documents

At this blog are links to the By-Laws, Master Deed, Corporate Code, Condominium Act, Presidential Decree 957, etc.  Who has read these?  Violations take place and few know since most do not read the documents.  Believe it or not they are not complicated.  If there are any questions, Members of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation may ask and seek answers.  I know many fear judicial decisions, but Valle Verde vs Africa was well written, clear and a valuable decision (tool) for all Unit Owners (Members).  I tell people to read them and even do it in groups taking notes.  I hear words and have heard the same words in the US, "I am not a lawyer so..."  The law was written for all the people no matter if it is ignored by other people, courts, or legislatures.  Read it, learn it and research asking questions to fully understand it.  I also fear a meeting that will have quorum having those knowing the rules and law leading others who are ignorant.

Meetings

Meetings

Here is just one section of the By-Laws. Yes, no "form" required but there are the required details for the proxy request. Notice, too, that the proxy does not need a day in advance as the posted memos state. Yes, question and read everything very carefully.  Notice under Voting that one vote per unit is written. That is illegal. I had to point that out to the Board in the past with a Board member from the developers saying they did not notice it. Terrific, Board members from the developer who do not read the docs they imposed upon the buyers. The Master Deed has the correct votes a Unit Owner is allowed since this is a mixed-use building. Oh, there was an attempt to amend the By-Laws for correction. Of course, as many other issues we and others noted for the building, no credit was ever given. But, the amendment had a zinger thrown in instead of just amending the specific item. We told everyone to vote NO in case there was a meeting with quorum. In reality, no amendment would be needed since the rule as written is illegal and cannot be applied. It was applied at the 2011 Annual Meeting as well as a compounding of illegal voting having those assembled give a voice vote in unison. No such vote is mentioned in law. How would one even know how many votes were cast as required under law. This is why the commercial seats are held by an illegal vote. But what does that matter since rules and law are just written on a piece of paper.  The other seats at that meeting had no vote since the Board walked out without adjournment to carry on the election in conflict with the Corporate Code.
 
 
 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Surprise

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Surprise

For all those arriving and others coming soon, it is no joke. The Front Desk must be called to make sure an elevator arrives at your floor. The conditions are getting worse. There are two named developers, one named builder and the elevator company. Since foreigners may not engage in protest actions in the Philippines, when will Filipino citizens protest outside the companies' headquarters? When living in the building the day must be planned around the elevators.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

SCCC Landline Phone Numbers

SCCC Landline Phone Numbers

For those needing to call to make a reservation for the elevator, see the Front Desk number below.

There was a memo dated July 15, 2014 that many Unit Owners may not have seen with the following local landline numbers.

Administration Office - (02) 650-0672

Accounting Department - (02) 584-7509

Engineering Department - (02) 584-9264

Security & Front Desk - (02) 584-9062

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Quorum and for what?

Quorum and for what?

We must be careful to teach and then follow the rules and law when an elected Board is finally established. The By-Laws state:

Section 9. Quorum. The presence of members representing a majority of registered members who are not delinquent in their dues and assessments, whether represented in person or by proxy, shall be competent to decide on any matter or business that may be brought before the meeting, except in matters or cases in which the Corporation Code or the Condominium Act requires the affirmative vote of a greater proportion.


This is not necessarily true as written especially the last several words. Why? Notice in the post below I made in October that the Philippines Corporate Code makes no mention of those delinquent for approval of the management contract. Yes, that is a very serious issue coming up if the current management contract continues past January 1, 2015.

A vote for a management contract and period of management contracts up to five years

Was there a vote I am unaware of? How is it that a contract is longer than five years given the Philippine Corporate Code Title IV Section 44?

...No corporation shall conclude a management contract with another corporation unless such contract shall have been approved by the board of directors and by stockholders owning at least the majority of the outstanding capital stock, or by at least a majority of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation, of both the managing and the managed corporation, at a meeting duly called for the purpose ... No management contract shall be entered into for a period longer than five years for any one term. ...

http://www.chanrobles.com/legal5title4.htm#.VCyxso0cTmI

BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 68
THE CORPORATION CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
TITLE IV — POWERS OF CORPORATIONSSECTION 44. Power to enter into management contract. — No corporation shall conclude a management contract with another corporation unless such contract shall have been approved by the board of directors and by stockholders owning at least the majority of the outstanding capital stock, or by at least a majority of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation, of both the managing and the managed corporation, at a meeting duly called for the purpose: Provided, That (1) where a stockholder or stockholders representing the same interest of both the managing and the managed corporations own or control more than one-third (1/3) of the total outstanding capital stock entitled to vote of the managing corporation; or (2) where a majority of the members of the board of directors of the managing corporation also constitute a majority of the members of the board of directors of the managed corporation, then the management contract must be approved by the stockholders of the managed corporation owning at least two-thirds (2/3) of the total outstanding capital stock entitled to vote, or by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation. No management contract shall be entered into for a period longer than five years for any one term.
The provisions of the next preceding paragraph shall apply to any contract whereby a corporation undertakes to manage or operate all or substantially all of the business of another corporation, whether such contracts are called service contracts, operating agreements or otherwise: Provided, however, That such service contracts or operating agreements which relate to the exploration, development, exploitation or utilization of natural resources may be entered into for such periods as may be provided by the pertinent laws or regulations. (n)
SECTION 45. Ultra vires acts of corporations. — No corporation under this Code shall possess or exercise any corporate powers except those conferred by this Code or by its articles of incorporation and except such as are necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers so conferred. (n)

Voting for the seats on the Board

Voting for the seats on the Board

I cannot recall the exact words but similar words have been stated before at meetings and in conversation about the commercial areas having three seats they just get. It is true that the commercial areas have three seats they nominate for the Board. But, the entire assembly of Members vote for those candidates and other nominees for the Board.
 
It is important to know that the assembled Members do not have to vote YES but may vote NO to the nominees of the commercial seats. Why? Think of the lower dues they pay per square meter, noise in the area, the drain they were forced to build in the front, the desire to punch holes in the building to the commercial floors in Twin Oaks, sales reps annoying residents on Soho Central property, etc.  A YES vote is not required so please tell Unit Owners to be careful not to be lead down a path ignoring the other choice of NO. A YES vote deserves guarantees of issues fixed and problems avoided. A guarantee in writing.

Proxy problem

Proxy problem

The Special Meeting held this past Saturday was the first time I recall that the Secretary did not show up. I am no longer sure why there is not a new Secretary. I then looked to the By-Laws and do not know at this time if there are other rules or laws that would attempt to fix the dilemma those assembled would have found themselves.
 
There were proxies still expected; and if not already inspected, there would have been no Secretary as required under Section 8. Section 10 would designate the Chair as Secretary but the Chair had resigned. We are left with three Commercial and three Residential so who would they elect as Chair given the chilly relations? OH, do not forget the seat vacated cannot lawfully be filled due to Valle Verde vs Africa!!!
 
(just copied and pasted the following from a .pdf of By-Laws)

Section 8. Proxy. Any member or representative as defined in Section 4 hereof, may be represented by a proxy in all the meetings of the members of the corporation. The proxy must be in writing, designating the representative by name, signed by the member or the representative and duly presented to the Secretary for inspection and recording before the opening of the meeting.
Proxies shall be valid only either for the next annual or special meeting after the execution of the proxy or any adjournment thereof. The presence of the member at the meeting shall revoke the proxy heretofore executed by him and such member shall be entitled to vote at such meeting in the same manner and with the same effect as if he had not executed a proxy.


Section 10. Conduct of Meeting. At all meetings of the members, the Chairman of the Board, or in his absence, the President or, in the absence of the Chairman and the President, a person designated by the majority of the members present in person or by proxy, shall act as Chairman.
The Secretary of the Corporation shall act as Secretary of all meetings of the members and in his absence, the Assistant Secretary and if the Assistance Secretary is not present, the Chairman may appoint any person to act as such.

Season of Giving and Receiving

Season of Giving and Receiving

Soho Central Condominium certainly received and the gift of the elevators keeps on giving a major pain in Unit Owners' investment.

Review:

Passenger Elevator 1 (PE1) is on manual since PE4 was on manual but no longer functions.  I had seen PE4 after manual operation ceased open with no lights on at the 31st floor.

 
Passenger Elevator 2 (PE2) is functioning, whatever that means, as far as eventually arriving after pressing the buttons.  Of course, it may be packed since few run and your floor level may determine the number of passengers.  So the MRT Strategy needs to be employed or you may never see the ground floor.

Also notice that the 27th floor has tape not allowing it to be pressed.  We had just experienced stopping at the 27th floor due to someone on that floor pressing the down button.  As always, we had a new and unimproved witnessing of the elevator door trying to open and never succeeding.  It did not feel safe.


Passenger Elevator 3 (PE3) is not working.

Passenger Elevator 4 (PE4) was on manual but is no longer working.

Passenger Elevator 5 (PE5) is not working.  Well, take a look at its condition on the 41st floor where it is currently residing.



Service Elevator aka Passenger Elevator 6 (PE6) is working more as a passenger than service elevator and is less dependable than PE2 if such a thing is possible.  Please note the 21st floor button lights where only the up and not the down functions.

Also notice the tape covering the 32nd floor not allowing it to be pressed.


 
 
So not only the elevators but floor by floor the entire system is closing down.  It is time for everyone to complain as I had instructed or go to the gym and prepare for walking the stairs.
 
Does anyone know where the entities that built this building and the elevators are?  Are they happy with the result?  Is anyone else happy with the result?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mirror, mirror in the elevators...

Mirror, mirror in the elevators...


...who wished us these?  Why do they not operate all the time?  Why were we promised a building with six residential elevators but suffer with few somewhat functioning?

It suddenly dawned that the name on the floor is not a company name at all.  No.  It was actually a warning just misspelled.

O tiís!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Greenfield's Twin Oaks next door

Greenfield's Twin Oaks next door


Is it true that a discount of 10% for new buyers is available but the discount denied to previous buyers?  I was told about this yesterday as I listened to the booming noise late at night to the early morning from the green field on Mayflower.  Such nice neighbors to allow such booming noise that directly hits the condominium towers.  Do they not realize what time it is?  Do they not care about those sleeping and wanting to be at rest?  Is there any concern for the Unit Owners?  Let us all think about that while we wait and travel the elevators struggling to get out of the building and upon returning to our units on either the one elevator somewhat functioning, another by appointment and the service elevator with buttons not lit.

Vietnam

Vietnam

Why mention Vietnam in this blog that is focused on Soho Central Condominium?  Posts on other condos in the Philippines and matters having to do with the Philippines in relation to the industry will continue to be posted but news about Vietnam just arrived.

For those from North America recall ads on travel and tours.  What countries are listed in all those brochures?  We used to comment how the Philippines was very seldom mentioned.  And now Vietnam always a stop in travel brochures is currently mentioned in the news.  What is the news now?

Property for sale to foreigners!

Dozens and dozens of conversations have taken place with us on what we referred to as a glut a few years ago and now talk about a bubble in the Philippine condominium industry with what we see as tears and rips with what has now been written about in the press as a burst to come soon.  Some think the burst has taken place.  No, the burst will truly be here when all those cranes stop and holes in the ground turn into mosquito pits.

And who will have brought the bubble bursting to the Philippines and all buyers?  All those building too much with too much wrong in the industry and too many unwilling to put themselves out front exposing the serious problems.

Now Vietnam opens up with real estate including houses while being a popular tourist stop.  It is such action that could burst the bubble in the Philippines.  And what will take place after the burst?  Many articles and pronouncements from the industry and political officials.  Action on fixing all the problems will always wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.  And how long am I told about how long to wait here?   What is that jest?  48 years?

http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2014/11/74228/Vietnam%20to%20allow%20foreign%20ownership

Vietnam to allow foreign ownership



Vietnam, previous off-the-radar for foreign property buyers and investors, has approved legislation allowing limited ownership of property by foreigners from July 1, 2015.
The move could herald the start of more foreign ownership law changes throughout the region ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC 2015) which comes into force in one-year from now.
The Vietnamese government’s aim is to inject action in what has been a broadly stagnant real estate sector whilst boosting economic growth at the same time.
The law will allow foreigners with a valid visa, as well as foreign companies and international organisations operating in Vietnam, to own houses and apartments. Previously, only foreigners married to Vietnamese nationals and those making contributions to the country were allowed to purchase property.
Foreigners will be allowed to own a maximum of 30 percent in any apartment building, or 250 houses per ward in the country. This 30 percent rule appears similar to Thailand where foreigners are permitted to own up to 49 percent of the space in any condominium in their own name.
On November 25, the Vietnam’s National Assembly passed the long-awaited amended Housing Law that addresses a number of issues including regulations on foreign ownership of properties in Vietnam, replacing the pilot scheme that expired in December 2013.
The new law, to take effect from July 1, 2015, removes many of the previous restrictions on foreign individual buyers.
CBRE Vietnam noted that all foreigners granted a visa to Vietnam will be allowed to buy residential properties. All foreign investment funds, banks, Vietnamese branches and representative offices of overseas companies are also eligible to buy.
Purchases of all types of residential property, including condominiums and landed property such as villa and townhouses, can be purchased.
CBRE confirmed there is no limit on the number of dwelling units a foreigner can buy, but the total number of dwelling units owned by foreigners must not exceed 30 percemt of the total units in one condominium complex, or not exceed 250 landed property units in one particular administrative (or the equivalent of) ward. Previously an eligible foreigner could buy only one condominium in Vietnam.
Properties owned by foreigners can be sub-leased, traded, inherited and collateralised, where previously the owner could only use the property occupying purposes.
CBRE Vietnam also confirmed the tenure allowed to foreign individuals buying homes is a 50-year leasehold with renewal possibility upon expiration. Foreign individuals married to Vietnamese citizens are entitled to freehold tenure.
CBRE Vietnam said: “The relaxation of foreign ownership restrictions is more significant than previously anticipated, and marks a strong step towards opening up the Vietnam real estate market to overseas investment.
“There are only two major restrictions imposed on foreigners, including a leasehold tenure of 50-years and a cap on the total number of units owned collectively by foreigners in one single condominium project or one administrative (or the equivalent of) ward.
“In addition, there is also no cap on the sizes of dwelling units or number of units a foreigner can buy, or additional tax.
“This recently passed Law makes the market more attractive to Vietnam-based expats seeking an investment in residential properties in Vietnam, and clears away the initial barriers to create a level playing field.”
Adding a note of caution, CBRE Vietnam said: “It should be noted that the implications may not be felt immediately, it will definitely benefit the already improving residential market. Generally, it will provide another boost to the strengthening of confidence and market sentiments, which is currently much needed for Vietnam real estate investment after it lost its lustre post 2008.
“This long awaited change in the Foreign Ownership Law will help create a more balanced, transparent and sustainable residential property market in Vietnam, and is expected to play a major role in correcting, to some extent, the above-mentioned issues, but the participation of the private sector players will also play a big role,” added Dung Duong, Head of Research Vietnam for CBRE.
Image: Ho Chi Minh City © PropertyGuru 2014
Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

IMPORTANT: Split-type Air Conditioners

WARNING


IMPORTANT:  Split-type Air Conditioners


This had been written about previously and once again needs attention due to what has been experienced in one unit that was fully furnished by the builder/developers which included the split-type air conditioner.  Carefully check ceilings, walls and the outside hoses leading to the compressor on the balcony.

Do you see any stains where the hoses may be placed above the ceiling or behind the walls?  If so, there are possible condensation problems.  Are the hoses wrapped in plastic when coming out of a hole to the balcony and is there water filling that plastic wrap?

A split-type was removed with the material around the hose more like a sponge than insulation to prevent such water buildup from condensation.

The photo below also shows the condition behind the air conditioner mounted on the wall.  There was a metal plate that was removed, too.  What the photo shows is that no primer was painted on the drywall behind the metal plate.  The area immediately around the metal plate had primer though no final coat of paint.  The final coat of paint was placed around the air conditioner once installed.  This is not what I would have done or consider appropriate construction.

There is also a hole in the middle and when asked the technicians from the certified dealer said that it had no purpose and was a mistake.  Now is that not a Big Surprise!


 

Living in condominium units

Living in condominium units

By Rod Kapunan | Nov. 15, 2014 at 12:01am

http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/11/15/living-in-condominium-units/

"A condominium unit buyer in one of the country’s high-end builder-developer, St. Francis Shangri-La property   located along EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City, has complained that as a result of typhoon Glenda that hit Metro Manila last July 16, 2014, one of the glass window panels of her unit was shattered by the strong wind that reached the maximum velocity of 140 kilometers per hour.
 What irritated the unit buyer, identified as Ms. Rachael A. Dizon of Unit 12G Tower 1, is  it took the maintenance department of Shangri-La Properties some time to replace the shattered glass window panel, thus forcing her and her two children to temporarily vacate the place because of the danger posed by a make-shift plywood they covered with a mere tarpaulin.  This was a temporary covering and the floor to her unit got wet every time it rained.  
Although the glass window panel has finally been installed, the owner of said unit claims there was misrepresentation because the glass window panel that was installed was merely heat-strengthened and not a fully tempered glass as Shangri-La advertised.  Ms. Dizon could only surmise that the glass window panel broke at the height of the typhoon because of that.  Also, during the typhoon, the unit owned by Ms. Rinalisa Villacorta also had the floor in her guest room soak wet because rainwater coming probably from the roof leaked into the crevices of her wall.  The leak seeped all they way that practically deformed the lower end of the wall of Ms. Villarcorta’s unit.  At the height of the typhoon, the flooring near the windows was soaked wet, and it was discovered that the latches that were supposed to close tight the glass window panels gave way to the strong wind.  Her niece who was using the place complained about it, and nobody knows if management has acted on it. 
Shangri-La having established a good name and reputation in the condominium industry should live up to its name  by attending to the letter-complaints of its unit buyers.   Delay in attending to their complaints and shoddy maintenance could easily erode the reputation it has established and that could well spread to prospective buyers, especially at a time when the country is experiencing a glut in the construction of condominiums.
The most common problem encountered by condominium unit owners is the question of who should manage the condominium once the majority of the units are sold.   It is this aspect that developer/builders of condominiums have been trying to circumvent to avoid turning over the condominium building to the unit owners through their association.  Maybe the developer/builders of the condominiums have their valid reason to retain control of the management, operations and maintenance of the building on matters pertaining to security, elevator system, fire alarm and detection, etc., but whatever it is, such exclusive control and prerogative could no longer be legally sustained because the contract that was signed by the unit buyers is a contract for an absolute deed of sale, not a contract to rent.  
Hiring corporate lawyers of the Shangri-La properties whose brains have been atrophied by their mercenary alacrity to please their employer can never justify their novel idea of “a five (5) year irrevocable proxy” clause they attached in favor of the developer-builder because the Deed of Absolute Sale was paid for by the unit buyers.  Yes, the so-called “five (5)-year irrevocable” clause is a form of contract adhesion, but contract adhesion is only good when the conditions imposed do not violate any existing law.   The contract being an absolute deed of sale, automatically divests Shangri-La properties of whatever right it has to interfere in the collection, finances and affairs pertaining exclusively to the condominium unit owners’ association.  
It is for this why condominium unit buyers, like the homeowners in subdivisions, are allowed and in fact encouraged by law to form their respective associations because the owner of the property/subdivision or condominium no longer owns it.    The only remaining relations that the unit buyers have with the developer/builder of the condominium are those that pertain to warranties which are incorporated in the absolute deed of sale, and those warranties were added into the price they paid for the unit.  It is for that why unit owners stand as having the legal right to be represented in the board of the condominium unit owners’ association, which is usually done by the election of officers by the members. 
To allow that questionable 5-year irrevocable proxy clause to apply would be anomalous because the continued collection of whatever fee from the unit buyers by the developer-builder of the condominium could transform the contract of sale to one of rent, and the unit buyers reduced to mere tenants perpetually paying the developer/builder their monthly association dues it would not admit as rents paid by the tenants to a landlord. 
Once the sale of all the units has been completed or consummated, the developer-owner of the condominium could no longer participate in the affairs and activities of the board of the condominium unit owners’ association or much more for its appointed protégé, in this case their in-house counsel, to receive whatever remuneration from the monthly due/fees paid by the owner-members for their alleged services for the association. The developer/builder of condominiums cannot fry unit owners from their own lard. 
It is for this why every unit owner of the condominium has the right to attend in all the meetings of the association, to demand from the board the information about its activities and accounting of its expenses for the upkeep, maintenance and security of the building.  As said, it is only those aspects which are included as warranties by the develop-builder of the condominium can such relations exist, but it cannot make any additional, arbitrary or unilateral imposition.  Things can only be done through a negotiated agreement between the board representing the association and the management representing the developer-builder. 
Outside of the defined relations between the buyer and a seller, the buyer has the right to demand restitution and compensation for any violation of the warranties provided for in the absolute deed of sale.    If the developer-builders think they got the shorter end of the bargain, then they should have built instead a hotel or merely have each of those units rented, and rightly call the occupants tenants, but definitely they cannot have the best of both worlds.  The Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board should know this by heart."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rental Units at Soho Central Condominium

Rental Units at Soho Central Condominium

I have asked and spoken to the situation that Unit Owners find themselves when renting their unit(s) here at Soho Central Condominium in Mandaluyong.  Since turnover in 2009 there have been numerous problems which at this point seem insurmountable.  How do you as Unit Owners feel about the deteriorating conditions?  What have you done to protect your investment?  What are your plans in the future?

Have you read the book by Armando Ang on real estate with warnings about the percentage of units rented in a condominium building and the percentage of those actually rented and how that impacts the value?  There are other warnings but this is a bottom line challenge by the author of "Guide to Homeownership."

BEWARE OF RENTALS: Investment decline
From Guide to Homeownership – Condominiums and Townhouses (chapter) by Armando Ang
Owners, be careful since your investment and for many your home may decline in value due to too many with plans to rent....
Page 372: “Condominiums with too many empty units for rent or for sale or rented out do not appreciate in value very much. It is axiomatic for lenders not finance mortgages for complexes with higher number of rental units. In fact, when a complex drops to less than 60 or 70 percent owner occupancy, lenders believe the values in the complex may start to decline. ”…
Page 373: “ A high ratio (renter) is a sign that the cost of the unit may not be worth the asking price. Rental revenue is very miniscule compared to the invested cost of the condo.”...
Page 373: “The ratio of tenant to owner should not be more than 25 percent.”…

We have no idea how many units are occupied by Unit Owners full time or part time and no idea how many are rented and how many are vacant being occupied one or a few times a year if that.  

The elevators and other serious issues and problems have caused renters to leave and others to say no interest.  What can be done to fix this building?

For Unit Owners renting and those not renting, your unit values would be of prime importance.  When will all Unit Owners attend the Annual or Special Meetings?  If you cannot attend appoint a proxy to vote in your place.  I have heard that some proxies were given a hard time or not allowed to vote.  If this is the case, let us know the details so this never happens again.  We need your attendance for quorum and for a vote that would hopefully be or nearly reach 100%.

There are notices on the requirement that a Unit Owner not be delinquent to vote.  This may be true for many issues before such meetings but one issue may be exempt such as voting for a management contract.  The Philippine Corporate Code says a majority of members with no restrictions as far as being delinquent for approving a management contract - http://sohocentralcondominium.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-vote-for-management-contract-and.html 

Is Soho Central a condotel?  Websites with rent / sale ads:

http://www.olx.ph/index.php/classifieds+directory/q/soho+central+condo+for+rent

http://www.olx.ph/index.php/classifieds+directory/q/soho+central+mandaluyong

http://homes.mitula.ph/homes/for-rent-condo-soho-central-mandaluyong

http://www.islandsproperties.com/properties/condos-townhs/mm-mak-cd-842/

http://homes.trovit.ph/for-rent-soho-central

http://www.locanto.ph/geo/6869/Short-Term-Rentals/306/Mandaluyong/

http://www.cashflowrealty.net/2010/10/soho-central-mandaluyong-2-bedroom-unit-for-sale-or-rent/

http://www.cashflowrealty.net/2010/10/soho-central-mandaluyong-studio-unit/

http://rentpad.com.ph/short-term-rentals/mandaluyong

https://2908sohoprivateresidences.wordpress.com/

http://manila.craigslist.com.ph/vac/4678274253.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/VacationRentalReview-g298453-d6696197-1_BR_apartment_for_rent_Ortigas_Mandaluyong_area-Pasig_Metro_Manila_Luzon.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g298453-d6696197-1_BR_apartment_for_rent_Ortigas_Mandaluyong_area-Pasig_Metro_Manila_Luzon.html

http://vigorretravelerlease.com/2014/10/08/condo-for-rent-in-manila-ortigas-soho-central-studioms35/

http://www.vacationhomerentals.com/vacation-rentals/Mandaluyong-City-Philippines-vacation-rental-condo-proID-78367.html

http://www.condo.com.ph/soho-central-condominium-ad6319.html

and on and on ... https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=rent+soho+central+mandaluyong+ortigas

Monday, November 17, 2014

Balconies a Garbage Dump for Some Residents

Balconies a Garbage Dump for Some Residents

Here is a photo of a box thrown on to a balcony.  How many have garbage, cigarette butts and as seen on this blog the loads of garbage on the large balconies of the 4th floor Mayflower Tower?  Recently, we had two loads of water dumped on our extended balcony with only three units above as possible sources.  What did the management and security do?  They could not discover the culprits?


Welcome to the disaster zone.

MRT Strategy for Soho Central Condominium Elevator Travel

MRT Strategy for Soho Central Condominium Elevator Travel


Depending upon which way one is going and whether at the upper or lower floors with the middle getting shafted the most, statistically speaking, the MRT Strategy needs to be employed for the elevators.

Due to the elevators being packed and waiting for another, think MRT at Ayala when going north at rush hours.  It may be necessary to go south and then return going north due to the stream of packed cars.  So when planning your day around the elevators think strategy to get to the lobby or the reverse to upper floors.

We would like to hear from all Unit Owners (voting Members) and renters.  Yes, renters please tell us what your experiences are and your feelings on renting at Soho Central Condominium in Mandaluyong.

Management Contract - January 1, 2015

Management Contract - January 1, 2015


It is assumed that a management contract was established in 2009.  Since documents and records of the condominium corporation are not always available, it is unknown what the date of the contract was so January 1, 2015 will be the date to watch.  Unless a new management contract is established according to the Philippine corporate code, is it to be assumed that no contract will exist and Soho Central will be without a management operating under contract?

See previous message - http://sohocentralcondominium.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-vote-for-management-contract-and.html 

What to bring in an elevator traveling kit?

What to bring in an elevator traveling kit?


Cell phone and snacks.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Elevator Status as of ~3PM Today

Elevator Status as of ~3PM Today


For all the Unit Owners who are legal Members of the condominium corporation whether you purchased pre-built, prior to turnover or after turnover, I know there are other problems with Soho Central Condominium that need serious attention but the elevators are an acute situation that are getting worse.

What was experienced in the lobby after the 30-minute journey to get on an elevator eventually heading down prior to our return at 3PM?  The current situation of only three elevators in operation.  Well, sort of, anyway.

Number 1 is out of service, Number 2 is operating as usual whatever that means, Number 3 is out of service, Number 4 only operates manually so not known who is on an upper floor waiting, Number 5 has a light with 41 meaning its new home until the mess is fixed, and Number 6 is the service elevator with unknown stops and down buttons that do not work from our experience.

Disaster.

So many complaints, so many complaints with the city, so much writing about the elevators and what has been done to give the Unit Owners as Members of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation the elevators expected?  Repairs, repairs and more repairs.  And, still no six (6) elevators fully functioning in a safe manner with full and complete government inspection with all proper certificates.  Oh, do not forget the repair needed to the entrances that were demolished.

Again, a plea for HELP!!!

Oh, why would anyone rent here?  Please let us know.  Were you told of the problems?

HELP!!! ... HELLO, WE NEED HELP!

HELP!!!

 

IS THERE A GOVERNMENT AGENCY OUT THERE THAT HAS THE EXPERTISE TO FULLY INSPECT AND GIVE A FULL & COMPLETE EXPLANATION AS TO WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE ELEVATORS?

 

HELLO, WE NEED HELP!


Some have asked about my posting and why none lately.  Well, I had other things to do and I could all day, every day write about the deteriorating conditions at Soho Central Condominium.  It is not just the elevators as far as their safety, maintenance and awful work done on repairing the entrances once some work had been done on two requiring the demolition of entrances on all floors, there are many other issues that just go on forever.

Yes, I have now had hundreds of conversations about this building and hundreds about other buildings and the endless problems.  What is going on and why were and are ads made that do not reflect reality?  Read this blog and other websites and you begin to understand the serious situation we have all suffered under.

Now, I was told why Elevator 1 was put out of service.  How many in this building have been stuck in the elevators?  How many have been in the elevators when they have dropped not just one floor but many?  How many have been in the elevators when the door opened and the floors inside and out did not match?  How many have experienced other problems with the elevators?

In 2009, the building was turned over to Unit Owners who are then Members of the Soho Central Condominium Corporation.  What did this mean?  What do the By-Laws and Master Deed mean?  What does the Condominium Act and Presidential Decree 957 and Valle Verde vs Africa mean?  Are they all just pieces of paper?  Hello, does anyone have an answer? Has anyone read these documents, fully understand what they mean and follow them?

There are two answers, Yes or No.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Question: If You Have Split Air Conditioners...

Question:  If You Have Split Air Conditioners...

have you looked at the places you believe the pipes lead from the air conditioner inside to the unit on the balcony?  I believe this is more significant for units installed for fully furnished units.  If you have had leaking, please contact us.  Please look for stains on the ceiling and walls.

We have filed a complaint and are looking to where the pipes are placed since there also seems to be a problem with the door frame leading into the bedroom of a one bedroom unit.

Rumor: All Elevators Working

Rumor:  All Elevators Working

Not so.  Let me repeat, not so.

Once again I get a text that someone was told by staff working in the building that all the elevators are working.  Not so!  Why spread this rumor?

I was also sent a text that one person working on the elevators said in jest or seriousness or frustration that they will be there for a lifetime.  Well, the reality is that this cannot take place.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A vote for a management contract and period of management contracts up to five years

A vote for a management contract and period of management contracts up to five years

Was there a vote I am unaware of?  How is it that a contract is longer than five years given the Philippine Corporate Code Title IV Section 44?
 
...No corporation shall conclude a management contract with another corporation unless such contract shall have been approved by the board of directors and by stockholders owning at least the majority of the outstanding capital stock, or by at least a majority of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation, of both the managing and the managed corporation, at a meeting duly called for the purpose ... No management contract shall be entered into for a period longer than five years for any one term. ...


http://www.chanrobles.com/legal5title4.htm#.VCyxso0cTmI


BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 68
THE CORPORATION CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

TITLE IV — POWERS OF CORPORATIONS
SECTION 44. Power to enter into management contract. — No corporation shall conclude a management contract with another corporation unless such contract shall have been approved by the board of directors and by stockholders owning at least the majority of the outstanding capital stock, or by at least a majority of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation, of both the managing and the managed corporation, at a meeting duly called for the purpose: Provided, That (1) where a stockholder or stockholders representing the same interest of both the managing and the managed corporations own or control more than one-third (1/3) of the total outstanding capital stock entitled to vote of the managing corporation; or (2) where a majority of the members of the board of directors of the managing corporation also constitute a majority of the members of the board of directors of the managed corporation, then the management contract must be approved by the stockholders of the managed corporation owning at least two-thirds (2/3) of the total outstanding capital stock entitled to vote, or by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members in the case of a non-stock corporation. No management contract shall be entered into for a period longer than five years for any one term.

The provisions of the next preceding paragraph shall apply to any contract whereby a corporation undertakes to manage or operate all or substantially all of the business of another corporation, whether such contracts are called service contracts, operating agreements or otherwise: Provided, however, That such service contracts or operating agreements which relate to the exploration, development, exploitation or utilization of natural resources may be entered into for such periods as may be provided by the pertinent laws or regulations. (n)

SECTION 45. Ultra vires acts of corporations. — No corporation under this Code shall possess or exercise any corporate powers except those conferred by this Code or by its articles of incorporation and except such as are necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers so conferred. (n)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The records ... shall be open to inspection

The records ... shall be open to inspection

I was once again told about something I do not understand when I read the following as may be seen the Philippine Corporate Code Title VIII Section 74:

The records of all business transactions of the corporation and the minutes of any meetings shall be open to inspection by any director, trustee, stockholder or member of the corporation at reasonable hours on business days and he may demand, writing, for a copy of excerpts from said records or minutes, at his expense.



http://www.chanrobles.com/legal5title8.htm#.UvS33zZWHmI
 

TITLE VIII

CORPORATE BOOKS AND RECORDS 
Sec. 74. Books to be kept; stock transfer agent. - Every corporation shall keep and carefully preserve at its principal office a record of all business transactions and minutes of all meetings of stockholders or members, or of the board of directors or trustees, in which shall be set forth in detail the time and place of holding the meeting, how authorized, the notice given, whether the meeting was regular or special, if special its object, those present and absent, and every act done or ordered done at the meeting. Upon the demand of any director, trustee, stockholder or member, the time when any director, trustee, stockholder or member entered or left the meeting must be noted in the minutes; and on a similar demand, the yeas and nays must be taken on any motion or proposition, and a record thereof carefully made. The protest of any director, trustee, stockholder or member on any action or proposed action must be recorded in full on his demand. The records of all business transactions of the corporation and the minutes of any meetings shall be open to inspection by any director, trustee, stockholder or member of the corporation at reasonable hours on business days and he may demand, writing, for a copy of excerpts from said records or minutes, at his expense.


Any officer or agent of the corporation who shall refuse to allow any director, trustees, stockholder or member of the corporation to examine and copy excerpts from its records or minutes, in accordance with the provisions of this Code, shall be liable to such director, trustee, stockholder or member for damages, and in addition, shall be guilty of an offense which shall be punishable under Section 144 of this Code: Provided, That if such refusal is made pursuant to a resolution or order of the board of directors or trustees, the liability under this section for such action shall be imposed upon the directors or trustees who voted for such refusal: and Provided, further, That it shall be a defense to any action under this section that the person demanding to examine and copy excerpts from the corporation's records and minutes has improperly used any information secured through any prior examination of the records or minutes of such corporation or of any other corporation, or was not acting in good faith or for a legitimate purpose in making his demand.

Stock corporations must also keep a book to be known as the "stock and transfer book", in which must be kept a record of all stocks in the names of the stockholders alphabetically arranged; the installments paid and unpaid on all stock for which subscription has been made, and the date of payment of any installment; a statement of every alienation, sale or transfer of stock made, the date thereof, and by and to whom made; and such other entries as the by-laws may prescribe. The stock and transfer book shall be kept in the principal office of the corporation or in the office of its stock transfer agent and shall be open for inspection by any director or stockholder of the corporation at reasonable hours on business days.
 
No stock transfer agent or one engaged principally in the business of registering transfers of stocks in behalf of a stock corporation shall be allowed to operate in the Philippines unless he secures a license from the Securities and Exchange Commission and pays a fee as may be fixed by the Commission, which shall be renewable annually: Provided, That a stock corporation is not precluded from performing or making transfer of its own stocks, in which case all the rules and regulations imposed on stock transfer agents, except the payment of a license fee herein provided, shall be applicable. (51a and 32a; B. P. No. 268.)