A management corporation’s (MC) bid to remove a shoe cabinet placed at the common corridor of The Infiniti condominium in West Coast Park has been denied by a judge.
In ruling for the case, District Judge Lim Wen Juin noted that while the presence of the shoe cabinet beside the apartment’s front door broke the by-law of the condominium, the MC will not be getting the court order required to compel the unit owner to remove said cabinet, reported The New Paper.
He believes that such an order would be “disproportionate” to the breach given that the cabinet does not intrude on any person’s rights nor obstruct movement in the corridor.
The MC had, among others, claimed that the cabinet – which measures 0.36m wide and 1.06m long – reduced the common corridor’s width available for fire escape.
Raymond Lye, the lawyer for the defendants, pointed to the practice code for fire safety precautions of the Singapore Civil Defence Force. For high-rise buildings, the code requires corridors to have a minimum width of 1.2m.
Since the 0.36m-wide cabinet slashed the corridor’s width to not less than 1.44m, the code’s requirement is still satisfied.
The judge noted that the by-law’s prohibition on storing, discarding or leaving personal belongings within common areas and staircases, regardless of nature, size and whether it obstructs people’s path is so widely couched.
With this, leaving small items like a pair of shoes or flower pot in the common corridor could result to a breach, he added.
The judge also chided the MC for not being even-handed in the enforcement of its by-laws.
This comes as photographs showed that many other owners left their personal belongings in the common corridor right outside their units.
The MC explained that it targeted the cabinet since it was the largest and newest of the offending cabinets, adding that it would proceed to take action against the others after their success in this case.
However, the judge doubts the MC will take any action against the other owners. He also disagreed with the logic and explanation for taking action against the newest cabinet, and noted there were other cabinets that were larger in size.
MC’s lawyer Leo Cheng Suan revealed that they will be appealing against the decision.
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Kyle Leung, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email email@example.com