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BANGKOK 13 December 2018 16:45
Chris Po

We have no committee anymore but management does not care.

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1 hour ago, lkn said:

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

There are many more reasons for living in a building than just how good the finances or management or staff are (or aren't).

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1 hour ago, lkn said:

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.

You demonstrate how little you know. My building has a management company, as do all others I know of. In none of them does the committee choose staff: that's management's job (though the committee may exercise some sort of veto or preference, especially for important positions). I think it would be particularly stupid to allow the committee to select staff as it changes every two/four years and is largely made up of people who dont have the faintest idea about staff selection (or anything else for that matter).
That's how it works in large buildings, and what happens in your small building is not really comparable.

I have had contact with and worked with a half-dozen management companies, including the biggest in Thailand, so I do know a fair bit about them.

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1 hour ago, lkn said:

Our cleaners do a lot more than pushing a broom around.

Yes, I suppose they push a mop around from time to time also. But it's hard to see what else a cleaner could do, that would require any sort of qualification.

 

1 hour ago, lkn said:

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.

Indeed, but this is not the job of a committee. It is the job of management. That's why buildings use management companies.

 

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57 minutes ago, KittenKong said:

You demonstrate how little you know

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.

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16 hours ago, lkn said:

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.

Actually I have done a great deal to try and improve my building, and others, with some success. And the job is ongoing. However in a large building there are various obstacles that do not exist in small buildings. This is what you fail to understand.
Many of the suggestions you have made would not work at all in large buildings, for practical reasons, and some could result in the person implementing them being arrested as I have tried to explain. But in a small building you can get away with them, as long as no one complains, and they may even be successful as they appear to have been in yours.
However I do wonder what would happen when you leave your building, or after four years when you will no longer be on your committee. One man bands are not really a long-term solution and when other people replace you they could quickly undo whatever good you have done, either by design or accident. I've seen this happen many times.

 

The JPM does have a huge amount of power, not least in that he alone cannot be sacked by the committee. In a large building it can be very easy for dishonest people to manipulate things, so it can be very hard to do anything about it. And not all Land Offices care about things like that.

 

By the way, I could complain just as much about incompetent air-con technicians, and I would be just as right to do so. I've tried at least half a dozen different companies over the years, both cheap and expensive, and I have found all of them to be erratic and unreliable in that one day they can do a decent job and the next they can do a lousy one. And they all seem to end up breaking things due to clumsiness.
But the nice things about air-con maintenance are that I can do a lot of it myself, thus getting a decent job done without any damage, and I can also easily monitor every action that anyone else takes if I get someone else in to do it. But neither is in any way practical when it comes to running a large building.

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On 12/7/2018 at 8:43 AM, KittenKong said:

Actually I have done a great deal to try and improve my building, and others, with some success. And the job is ongoing. However in a large building there are various obstacles that do not exist in small buildings. This is what you fail to understand.

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…

 

On 12/7/2018 at 8:43 AM, KittenKong said:

Many of the suggestions you have made would not work at all in large buildings

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.

 

On 12/7/2018 at 8:43 AM, KittenKong said:

some could result in the person implementing them being arrested as I have tried to explain

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.

 

On 12/7/2018 at 8:43 AM, KittenKong said:

However I do wonder what would happen when you leave your building, or after four years when you will no longer be on your committee. One man bands are not really a long-term solution and when other people replace you they could quickly undo whatever good you have done, either by design or accident. I've seen this happen many times.

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.

 

On 12/7/2018 at 8:43 AM, KittenKong said:

The JPM does have a huge amount of power

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.

 

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1 hour ago, lkn said:

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…

Unable to call a legal EGM simply because the names and addresses of co-owners are not known. I have repeated this several times but you choose to ignore it. And even if the addresses were known, would you care to pay several tens of thousands of Baht out of your own pocket to send out 1000+ letters? I wouldn't. And there is also the time needed to stick the stamps on and write the labels. Even for just a couple of hundred I would rather avoid it.

You also dont seem to understand just how apathetic many co-owners are in many buildings. Many dont visit the building at all from one year to another and so they simply have no idea about what may be happening in it. That seems to apply in the OP's case. Many others cant even be bothered to walk downstairs once a year to attend an AGM. So in a building like the OP's, where one block controls (legally or illegally) a large number of votes, it may be very hard indeed to achieve anything.

 

1 hour ago, lkn said:

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.

A large building is very different to a small one. Staff are directed and selected by the management company. That's what the management company is for. They also implement the procedures. The committee may direct the management company if it is motivated to, but in many cases it lacks that motivation for whatever reason. And in other cases it may simply not have the slightest idea what needs doing and so it lets the management company get on with it (which may not be a bad thing if the management company is any good). It can even happen that there is no functioning committee at all, with some members never attending a single meeting, and with others resigning for an assortment of reasons, all of which can result in meetings simply not being held, especially if management would prefer meetings not to be held. Again, this topic is a good example.

I wont even start on the infighting that can occur in a committee, with some co-owners interests being the complete opposite of others (notably the ones who rent out and the ones who are owner-occupiers).

And if on top of all that the management company also happens to be the JPM, and keen to protect their own interests, then there is simply no one left to monitor anything.

 

1 hour ago, lkn said:

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?

You described some tasks that would appear to be work. Certainly in many buildings I know of those tasks would be exclusive job of the management company, or the manager, or the JPM, or some mixture of the three. If you dont have a work permit then to perform those tasks would be illegal. Someone could get upset about that: perhaps the manager, or JPM, or management company, all of whom might think that you are usurping their position, or maybe just some disgruntled co-owners. And if any of those people decided to complain then you could indeed have all sorts of problems. I've personally known committee members who have been threatened with similar things. Hopefully it wont happen to you.

 

2 hours ago, lkn said:

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.

I have never seen a big building which doesn't work like that. The JPM and/or the management company handle the finances and the staff. That's their job. The committee merely monitors it (or not, as the case may be), gives instructions as to what to focus on (or not, as the case may be) and signs the cheques that they are presented with (assuming that the signatories are even updated for a new committee). Again, this topic seems to be one more example of how this can go wrong.

 

2 hours ago, lkn said:

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.

It is common for the JPM to have a two-year contract that parallels the term of the committee. But if at the end of those two years there is no other candidate for the job then a bad JPM is quite likely to be selected for another term. In many buildings it is hard to find even one candidate for JPM, let alone two, which is why the job often ends up being done by someone from the management company. As I have tried to point out: if the management company is any good that can be OK, but if the management company is bad then it merely compounds the problems. Again, this topic is a case in point.

 

You should not assume that any or all of the above necessarily applies in my building, or even that it applies to me personally: you can find a lot of topics on here where people from many buildings have had cause to make similar complaints about their management and have asked for advice. Advice which I am happy to try and give, based on my experiences in several buildings here. This topic is a good example and it has nothing to do with my building at all.

 

 

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