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Let’s Talk Sectional Title

Welcome to the monthly e-newsletter of Jotam Management Services! This month we address the important concepts and terms needed to communicate on all things sectional title! I want to clear up some of the confusion when discussing matters between owners, trustees and managing agents. Feel free to pass these articles on to your family and friends, as there is a dire need for more information and practical advice. A large part of the population now lives in some kind of collective living, experiencing the challenges involved. You are welcome to suggest topics for the newsletter, as we would want to address the most pressing issues.

Kind regards,

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Let's Talk Sectional Title!!!

With an understanding of only a couple of terms, communication becomes easy. Say you want to talk to the managing agent about an issue that concerns your unit, the communal gardens or the trustees.  What you say can delay understanding if you do not use the right terms and do not have an understanding of how things fit together. Just by dealing with the terms, your understanding of how things work will be greatly enhanced!

The most important is the parties in sectional title, which are:

Body corporate – you as owner forms part of the body corporate.  All owners together form the body corporate, which is the highest authority in a scheme. So you would say to the managing agent: “The rules of the body corporate are that residents are not allowed to ….”

Trustees – The body corporate appoints representatives to do all things necessary for the proper functioning of the scheme, in accordance with legislation and daily decision making. This committee is called the trustees and they are appointed at the Annual General Meeting of the body corporate.

Legislation – The trustees are given wide powers to enact their duties, which is contained in the sectional title legislation.  The first being the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (which is the previous generation of sectional title legislation, which have been amended considerably, but which still contains some important applicable legislation. The second is the most important, the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, Act 8 of 2011, which came into operation on 7 October 2016.  The third, and also very important piece of legislation is the community Schemes Ombud Services Act 9 of 2011 which came into being the same time as the STSMA, on 7 October 2016.

These Acts order the communal living and responsibilities of sectional title. It also balances the interests of owners between each other and the body corporate, and also the powers of the trustees with that of the body corporate, etc. At the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the body corporate (all owners together), appoints the trustees, but the trustees are under the authority of the body corporate and the owners collectively can ensure that trustees do not act in their own interest and to the detriment of the body corporate.

The STSMA (Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act) consists of:
  • The main Act, where the prescriptions are called “Sections”.
  • The Regulations, where it is called Regulations and it provided for certain items.
  • The Rules, which consist of two sets, added to the legislation, called Annexures, which can be changed by the body corporate, but which cannot override the main Act. Here the prescriptions are called rules.
  • Management Rules: Prescribes the manner in which the scheme must be    managed, the duties of the trustees and managing agent, and also the duties of owners. These prescribed management rules (PMR) carry a lot of weight and can only be changed by a unanimous decision of the body corporate.
  • Conduct RulesPrescribes the conduct of owners/residents. The conduct rules can be changed by special resolution of owners (the body corporate).

Managing Agent – The managing agent is appointed by either the body corporate or the trustees. They do not have decision making powers and must act in accordance with the legislation and the instruction of the trustees.  This is an important point, as owners often think that the managing agent can act on its own. They oversee the day to day admin and events and arrange and minute meetings.  They must also advise the trustees on practical and legislative matters.

You can see how much things become clear if you can only make the above distinctions!  This is also important for new trustees to know and understand.

I do hope that this is meaningful to you and have given you another quiver in your arsenal of knowledge!

The warmest and kindest greetings to you all!  Have a great July and be warm! Soup, glüwein and good company (or a good book) can go a long way in keeping the cold at bay!

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Recipe for Blüwein

Here’s the recipe on how to make Glüwein. Make a big batch, invite friends over, and enjoy!

  • 4 cups red wine (dry) (dash of rum optional)
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar (brown tastes great)
  • grated orange peel
  • grated lemon peel
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (or a pinch of cinnamon)

Pour red wine into a pot with the cinnamon, cloves and zest from the orange and lemon. Let it warm up (but don’t cook it, just warm it). Drop the 4 tablespoons sugar into the wine mixture and add a dash of rum. Use a strainer and pour the Glüwein into cups and serve hot!

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Support Desk

Do you have any property related questions? Do you have any comments or ideas you would like to share with me? 

Please feel free to send a message to retha@jotam.co.za. I’d love to hear from you and get your opinion about my newsletter! 

Thanks for your input; it is important to me! 

Regards, 

Retha

This newsletter’s challenge:
Who said? Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things!

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