With the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) and Community Services Ombuds Service Act (CSOSA) coming into effect in October 2016, the sectional title property industry needs to be geared up to implement the new changes.

The long awaited legislation is aimed at streamlining the management of sectional titles and once implemented should prove to have a positive effect on the industry.

As an owner, how will this new legislation affect you?

1.  Establishing a reserve fund

The aim of the fund is to cover costs of future maintenance and repairs to common property. It has been suggested that 25% of the budgeted annual levy should be set aside by each sectional title scheme for this purpose.

2.  Domicilium Address

The Chief Ombud, local municipality and local registrar of deeds need to appoint a registered address for the service of notices in the event of cases being brought against a body corporate or owners.

3.  Recovery of arrear levies

If the trustees of a body corporate are having difficulty in recovering arrear contributions from an owner the Regional Ombud can be requested to assist.

4.  Changes of levy contributions

The annual amendment of levy amounts must now be certified in writing.

5.  Limitation on proxies

The number of proxies held per a person is now limited in that a person will not be able to proxy for more than 2 members.

6.  Obtaining special or unanimous resolutions

The Chief Ombud may be approached in circumstances where there is a deadlock between members in achieving either a special or unanimous resolution.

7.  Management or Conduct Rules

7.1  If rules have been substituted, added or changed the Chief Ombud must approve these rules and issue a certificate to confirm this.

7.2  Rules must be made available at all meetings and copies should be given to all new owners and tenants in the scheme.

8.  Occupancy changes

The body corporate of a sectional title scheme must be notified of any change of ownership of a unit in the scheme.

9.  Dispute Resolution

Disputes may be referred to the CSOS for assistance. If the matter cannot be settled the CSOS may refer it to conciliation or adjudication.