The Community Schemes Ombud Service – Your Questions Answered | Legal Articles

 

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The Community Schemes Ombud Service – Your Questions Answered

Time and again in our work we receive questions with regards to Community Schemes and the Schemes Ombud (CSOS).

In this brief article, we will address a few of the pertinent questions that we receive from some of our clients and members of the public at large.

CSOS - FAQ

However we always advise that one should set up an appointment with our Property Law department attorneys for concise and comprehensive assistance because as much as this article provides a general guidance, each case has its own specific dynamics which may alter the general application of this article.

  • Who is competent to be elected as a Trustee?

Any person may be elected as a Trustee provided that they are not employed by the Managing Agent or the Body Corporate. However, if the person is employed by the Body Corporate or the Managing Agent and yet they own a unit in the Scheme, then they can be elected as a Trustee.

  • Should a Managing Agent have a Fidelity Fund Certificate?

It is a criminal offence for the Managing Agent to operate without a Fidelity Fund Certificate as per the rules of the Estate Agency Affairs Act.

  • May a unit owner install CCTV cameras outside their unit for surveillance?

This can be done with the permission of the Trustees so that it is ensured that the privacy of other units and owners is not compromised in the process. Further, valid and sufficient reasons why the unit owner wants to install the CCTV cameras outside their unit must be provided and weighed against the interests and/or rights of other unit owners.

  • Must a Body Corporate have public liability insurance?

It is a must for the Body Corporate to have public liability insurance of R10 million or more, to cover third parties who may be injured or suffer loss while in the common areas.

  • Is registration with the CSOS compulsory for community schemes?

All community schemes must register with the CSOS and in the event that any do not comply, measures will be taken against that particular community scheme.

  • Does the Chairperson have more voting power than other Trustees?

In the event that there is a tie when a vote is conducted in a Trustees’ meeting, then the Chairperson will have the deciding vote despite the tie.

  • Can you raise any issue with regards to anything else at the AGM?

The AGM usually has a set Agenda beforehand, and proceedings will follow that Agenda as set out. The items on the Agenda are issues that affect the generality of the attendees and not a single person. Complaints or issues for a single owner must be discussed with the Body Corporate at any other opportune time other than the AGM.

  • Can Trustees lodge an application for dispute resolution with the CSOS whilst summons have already been issued against a levy defaulter?

No. In the event that summons have already been issued, then the CSOS will reject the application and let the court process unfold. It is trite that the same matter cannot be before more than one adjudication forums to seek the same relief on the same set of facts. In the event that the Trustees want to use the CSOS forum, they must first withdraw the court action and then approach the CSOS while having no other forum deciding on the same case.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Attorneys

The above is only general guidance with regards to some pertinent questions we receive on community schemes and the CSOS.

At Van Deventer & Van Deventer Attorneys we assist with disputes which fall under the jurisdiction of the CSOS as well as all other matters relating to Property law matters.

Comments are closed for this post, but if you have spotted an error or have additional info that you think should be in this post, feel free to contact us.


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