Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act
In the event that the matter is not resolved at the mediation session(s), the Board may fix a date for directions hearing where the Board will give directions as to how the case should proceed for a hearing.
WHAT IS A DIRECTIONS HEARING
A directions hearing is a brief hearing before a Board to discuss the progress of the application and give directions as to future conduct of the matter. The main purpose is to get all parties who are unable to settle the matter at mediation ready for the hearing. In preparing parties on the requirements and procedure for hearing, it facilitates the expeditious resolution of the dispute.
WHO ATTENDS A DIRECTIONS HEARING
All parties are required to attend the directions hearing, or authorise a representative by way of a letter of authority.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A DIRECTIONS HEARING
At a directions hearing, the Board may, among other things:
Check the number of witnesses a party may require.
Give dates for parties to file and exchange their submissions of affidavits of evidence-in-chief, which are witness statements under oath, and any objections to such statements
Fix a specified date and time to hear the case
Other matters such as specific evidence to be used in the hearing and other logistical arrangements
Parties must comply with the Board’s directions at all times (e.g. filing certain documents within the time stipulated by the Board).
Affidavits of evidence-in-chief which each party is relying on, must be filed with the Strata Titles Boards prior to the commencement of the hearing, in accordance with the Boards’ directions on filing dates.
An affidavit of evidence-in-chief is a sworn statement made by your witness on the facts and evidence. It is annexed with supporting documents (if any). An affidavit must be declared to be truthful and signed in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths.
WHAT IS A HEARING
A hearing is a formal proceeding before the Board where both the Applicant and Respondent take turns to present their evidence through their respective witnesses and make legal submissions to the Board.
To prepare for the hearing, parties should familiarise themselves with the affidavits of evidence-in-chief which have been filed and also prepare the questions for cross-examination of the other party’s witnesses.
Board’s directions and communication
Parties have to comply with procedural rules and ensure that all relevant documents are submitted in accordance with the Board’s directions and timelines.
Parties should avoid introducing new documents only at the last minute, e.g. on the date of the hearing.
A copy of all documents submitted to the Strata Titles Boards must be given to the opposing party. Parties must also copy the opposing party in all communications.
Please note that the registry staff assists with the filing and scheduling of the proceedings. They are not able to give parties legal advice or decide what to include in their papers to the Strata Titles Boards.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A HEARING
At a hearing, parties or their lawyers are expected to explain their case clearly to the Board, cross-examine witnesses, make reference to any relevant documents, and make submissions to support their case.
The official language used for all Stata Titles Boards proceedings is English.
If you require the services of an interpreter, please bring your own interpreter to assist you in the proceedings. Parties are to provide the particulars of their interpreter at least seven (7) working days before the mediation date.
Conduct and Decorum
Please check the date and time of the hearing and arrive ahead of the scheduled time. You have to dress appropriately and neatly. Visitors in singlets, shorts, slippers or other inappropriate attire will not be permitted to enter the mediation/hearing room. During the proceedings, you are required to switch off your mobile devices or switch them to silent mode. Video and audio recordings are not permitted.
WHO ATTENDS A HEARING
All parties to the hearing and their witnesses are to attend the hearing. Generally, a party can choose to act for himself or herself (i.e. in person) by conducting his/her own case in court, or appoint a lawyer to represent him/her. If you are acting for yourself, the Board holds you to the same responsibilities as a lawyer would in acting for you.
Hearings are conducted at the Strata Titles Boards office located at the URA Centre.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING
Please bring at least 2 sets of all the evidence submitted to the Board (one for the witness when he/she takes the stand and one for yourself).
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A HEARING
After the Board has heard both parties and their witnesses, it will make a determination or an order based on evidence and the law. You may refer to Part VI (Division 2) of the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act for more details on the types of orders which the Board can make at a hearing.
Applicants are required to pay a fee of S$300.00 for a hearing each day or part thereof and the Board has the discretion to award costs against any party.