Sectional title ombud office efficacy questioned

Over the last couple of days, Cape Talk's John Maytham has received a steady stream of correspondence regarding the ‘sectional title ombud’ (community schemes ombud).

The general gist is that people are contributing towards this entity every month but it seems rather toothless in dealing with issues that arise in these schemes.

Community Schemes Ombud Service of South Africa deals with complaints from residents of communally owned properties, including sectional title schemes and homeowners’ associations.

Residents can complain if they believe their complexes are being mismanaged or if they have a dispute with another resident. The levy charged pays for these disputes and the legal costs.

André Nortjé, Attorney at Schoeman Law, says the ombud for sectional title is a newly established office.

The funding mechanism that keeps the office running is determined by the body corporate of each community scheme of sectional titles.

The community scheme ombuds services do have a registration process in place where every sectional title can register for that.

André Nortjé, Attorney at Schoeman Law

Also: Ombud explains sectional title levy and what it's used for

In terms of deducting the levy, its a negligible amount, I think it's capped at R40 a month.

André Nortjé, Attorney at Schoeman Law

Nortjé adds that the legislation is well drafted to retain the public's confidence in the ombuds.

The types of disputes the sectional title ombuds can adjudicate are, for example, damage caused by one unit to a neighbouring unit by water leakage, determining which unit is responsible for the damage.

(It deals with) factual disputes rather than disputes based on the law which need to be taken to the courts.

André Nortjé, Attorney at Schoeman Law

Listen to the audio below for more:

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