Condo management fails in legal bid against shoe cabinet

29 Oct 2019

infini condo msct singapore

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


Feb 27, 2020
I agree with Peter and Jacob above. In the latest Management Committee Strata Title Act, the constitution is very clear: living in community style condominium comes under the jurisdiction of the duly elected Management Committee and NOT the court (with due respect). Otherwise, the Management Committee becomes redundant. The court should have referred the matter back to MC to decide. Read the constitution and it will be clear that one owner/resident live style must not annoy the living of other owner/residents.
Nov 01, 2019
I may not have all the facts but I believe the judge was wrong in this case. The corridors in a condo are common strata property to be shared and enjoyed by all subsidiary proprietors (SPs) and I don't know of ANY special rights that exist for SPs to claim any part near their front doors or elsewhere for their exclusive use. It should be for the condo's SPs to collectively decide via AGM and their MC what - if anything - owners may leave outside their front doors (while still complying with fire safety laws, etc.). The point about dealing with everybody equally is fair - no should mean no for everybody - but I think it was reasonable that the MC took a single case to court with the expectation of using that as a stick to push the other errant SPs to comply with the by-laws of face similar prosecution. This sets a bad precedent and I hope the condo's MC will be successful with their appeal.
Oct 29, 2019
Usually it is best if corridors are left uncluttered as it will gives the neatest look. Failing which, the next best is for everyone to put out similar items as then the new look is that of uniformed arrangement of items at regular intervals. This way, no owner will be left feeling that other people are being less considerate.

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