In a landmark decision, Singapore's Strata Titles Board has ordered the Lucky Departmental Centre, a long-standing establishment in Beauty World Centre, to cease the encroachment of their goods onto the mall's common property. The ruling was based on several factors including obstruction to foot traffic, unsightliness, and safety hazards.
Long-Standing Practice Challenged
The Lucky Departmental Centre, in operation for over 40 years, was found to have extended its goods display beyond the permitted area along the common corridor. Despite multiple notices from the mall's management, the proprietors failed to comply, resulting in legal action. The owners argued that their practice was tolerated by the mall’s management and that they were not alone in encroaching on common space. However, the Strata Titles Board found no evidence to support their claim of being singled out as other shops complied through dialogue or lease agreements when faced with similar issues.
Obstruction and Safety Concerns
The store's goods display was deemed a significant obstruction to foot traffic and a safety hazard, especially given its proximity to a kindergarten. It was also an impediment to mall management operations, including the placement of a SafeEntry gantry, an essential measure in the COVID-19 pandemic era. The store's display completely obstructed the mall management's access to a telecom riser and common pipes, adding to the operational difficulties.
Strata Titles Board's Ruling
The Strata Titles Board ruled in favor of Beauty World's management, noting that the evidence clearly demonstrated the extent of the store's encroachment onto common property. They also highlighted that the mall's management had sent multiple written notices to the owners, contradicting their argument that no action had ever been taken against them during their 40 years at Beauty World.