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BANGKOK 13 December 2018 07:36

lkn

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  1. Yes, I definitely fail to understand that co-owners unsatisfied with how their building is being run are unable to call for an EGM because no-one would pay for postage… There is no recipe for how to fix a dysfunctional building, and I think my “suggestions” have been more along the lines of establishing the proper procedures and hierarchy for who is in charge, which is the same, regardless of the size of the building. If we take your own building where you mentioned that you have a building manager that makes significantly more than 22,500 baht/month but doesn’t actually do anything: Who is this person reporting to? Something has gone completely wrong in your building when you have a building manager that gets a good salary for not working, and it is not just that the building is too large for the committee to micromanage things (which I think is how you have read my comments). You likewise indicated that you have cleaning staff that gets above average pay but doesn’t do anything as well. Who is ultimately responsible for the cleaning? Who does the performance reviews for the cleaning staff? Why is no-one taking action? I will give you that a building with “more than a thousand units” is quite a different beast. I am in Chiang Mai, and I am not aware of any buildings here of that size. I would imagine living in such building does not exactly feel like a joint ownership, but more because of the practical constraints when building such large structure, and the people that such building appeals to. Presumably a lot of the units are sold to investors who won’t live there themselves. A lot of absent co-owners is an obstacle for establishing a quorum on the AGM, but for managing the building itself, if you end up with staff that are paid good money for not doing any work, surely majority of the non-absent co-owners just doesn’t give a damn. But we are talking very theoretically; I know you have previously mentioned all sorts of scams, sure, that could be an obstacle, but again, that is irregardless of the size of the building, and if you think I can be arrested for writing the AGM agenda, surely the people falsifying documents and voting outcomes in your building can be arrested as well! Though I will repeat that something has just gone completely wrong in your building; as you know, staff, committee members, etc. cannot hold proxy votes, the JPM nor their spouse can chair the AGM, etc. so if a small group of people is able to unilaterally control your entire building and overpay staff to do no work, I really wouldn’t take advice from you about what to do when there are problems in a building, as you seem rather unqualified to advice other people when you have been unable to stop the blatant abuse and disregard for both the Thai Condo Act and the majority of co-owners in your own building. This is just absurd! You have claimed that what I do is against the law. Can you give me an example on how my arrest would go down? Police would come to my condo with a search warrant, find documents on my computer that constitutes “work” beyond what committee members are allowed to do (based on what law?), prove that I created them while in Thailand, and then carry me away in handcuffs? If someone was actually able to orchestre that, they might as well have the police find illegal drugs in my condo, that is actually a scenario I have heard about, so not entirely unrealistic if you upset the wrong people, and much more likely to result in actual problems, as the law about possession of drugs is much clearer than whether or not a committee member is allowed to produce a document. It’s a good point, and I wish the Thai Condo Act would have only half the committee replaced yearly, instead of entire committee every second year. For running the building, a lot of documentation about technical installations, recurring tasks, what service/maintenance needs to be done, by who, how often, when it was last done, etc. should make it a lot easier for someone else to take over control. Online document sharing and collaboration has made this a lot easier, as all committee members can follow along, even when abroad. Of course we do not have cleaners report online when they have swept the floor, but we may e.g. put evaluation of cleaning staff as a quarterly task for the building manager, such that the committee can act on this, if the quality does not meet expectations. No system is foolproof, but the above goes a long way of giving those committee members who actually wish to do a good job running the building, the proper tools to do so, even if they are otherwise inexperienced. What I have seen a few times is committee members who have no idea about what needs to be done in their building and just assume that they can hire someone who knows. I have a bit more experience than you give me credit for, and I am very aware of the importance and challenges of knowledge management. This we obviously disagree on. You *can* give the JPM a lot of power by giving him access to your bank account and make him responsible for hiring of all staff, which may be what your building has done, but this is certainly not what all buildings do. Likewise, you can give him an employment agreement without a fixed term, and this might be what your building has done, but the AGMs I have attended, the JPM was elected for a two year period.
  2. I’ve never claimed to know what goes on in your building, but you seem to say that your staff consists of overpaid incompetent people who are doing nothing except participate in scams and kickback schemes. That you think this is how all big buildings are operated shows how little you know! I am absolutely flabbergasted by your idea that the committee should not involve themselves more in quality control of either management company or the staff being hired, even if the committee changes every 2/4 year. You have been complaining about lazy and corrupt building staff on this forum for as long as I have been a member, and seem to be of the opinion that every building is being run like yours, except of course those who post opinions different than yours, those are just unique outliers, but it seems you have done zero yourself to actually try to “fix” whatever issues you have in your own building, shooting any idea posted here down as unfeasible, impractical, too expensive, not the job of the committee, against Thai labour law, etc., and your absurd idea that the JPM is all powerful and can do whatever they want with the blessings of the Land Office. I am starting to think you want to live in a dysfunctional building so that you have something to complain about.
  3. Yes, I am sure you find it easy to prove that all the other committee members know nothing, unlike yourself, who knows everything, yet live in a building where JPM is in complete control and staff does nothing
  4. Our cleaners do a lot more than pushing a broom around. If your cleaners are doing nothing, make a task list, possibly have sheets around the building where they must write the time of when they last completed the subtasks for that section, randomly inspect the work, give them warnings if the quality is not good enough, and terminate them after repeat warnings. This is just about managing your staff, and this problem exists in all countries.
  5. Sounds like the committee has no idea about hiring; not unsurprising, this is not easy, and if you have no idea of how to actually run/maintain a building, do accounting, etc. then the task is only made harder. In such case, I would recommend that the building goes with a proper facility management company, both OCS and G4S have been recommended to me, and it sounds like your building already pays what such company would charge. Another approach is to visit a building you know is being properly run, and then ask who manages it. Personally I prefer having the staff work directly for the co-owners, as it’s easier, more flexible, and possibly also cheaper (compared to a *proper* management company), but it does require a competent committee, just as running a business with staff requires a component general manager.
  6. We went through a JPM resignation and registered a committee member as JPM without issues at the LD (we gave them the resignation letter from the previous JPM). But I would consult the Land Office beforehand; the intent of the Act is clearly that the co-owners elect the JPM and the committee is a fallback when no AGM/EGM can be held, so it would seem to me that the LD would prefer a JPM appointed on the meeting following the unsuccessful AGM rather than one that is appointed by the committee, even though the letter of the law is not followed if JPM is elected by less than 25% of the co-owners. Our OP is also in the situation where he would like to be elected as committee member, and his spouse as JPM. This arrangement would only be possible if JPM is elected by the co-owners.
  7. So true, and also people’s belief that because the Thai minimum wage is around 9,000 baht/month, that is what you should pay your staff, so you hire 5 unqualified people at 9,000 baht/month and complain that they don’t do anything and that all Thais are lazy, instead of hiring two qualified people at 22,500 baht.
  8. Please ask management who is your JPM. Then ask the JPM to get the monthly profit and loss report. This is required to be posted at the building’s bulletin board: section 36 (5), so possibly this is already available to you. Understanding your building’s finances is crucial. You should also look at the budget passed on last AGM. From your posts here, it’s difficult to assess what sort of actual issues your building has. It could be that the repairs are expensive so the management company does not feel they should spend money on this when it is not in the budget, it can be that they consider it defects that the developer should fix, and they have submitted claims to the developer, maybe they don’t have the money (because developer doesn’t pay common fee?), or maybe they don’t consider them serious issues worth fixing (look at how many defects goes unfixed in your typical Thai building). It sounds to me like a lot of your information is second hand, you really need to get to the source and you need to understand the finances of the building. It could be that everyone is paying their common fee but there is just no money left for repairs because developer set the management fee too low at the initial AGM (not uncommon). Of course it could also be that there is corruption, that management is in cahoots with the developer, etc. As alluded to in a previous comment, my building wasn’t being properly run when I bought my condo; it was all due to incompetence, but you can’t fix the problem before you properly understand it. One example of this is that our building manager never lasted for more than 1-2 months. I learned that our JPM was explicitly asking for 20-25 year old girls in the job advert and paid them 12,000 baht/month. I am sure he thought that the owners appreciated interacting with a young girl each time there was an issue, but we got rid of the gender and age requirement, asked to attend the job interview, and said we would have no problem paying a higher salary for someone with experience. Our next hire has so far lasted for 2 years and the guy does a phenomenal job (and we have since changed the JPM).
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