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Property Forum

Category : Property Forum

Why Do I Pay Levies?

Tarleys Trust 0 comments 22.01.2016

In short, levies are payable for the upkeep and general day-to-day running of the common areas. Levies provide the Body Corporate with the funds required to meet monthly expenditure and, in most cases, also allows the Body Corporate to build up a Reserve Fund over time in order that funds are readily available should the Body Corporate need them.

The Reserve Fund is used either in the case of unforeseeable repairs (any items which may need to be repaired) or foreseeable property maintenance (ie. Painting of the building). By having a Reserve Fund, the Body Corporate is ensuring that maintenance or improvements to the building can take place without placing additional financial strain on the owners within the Sectional Scheme.

In order for a Body Corporate to maintain its financial health, Levies need to be received on time on a monthly basis in order for the Body Corporate to meet its monthly commitments in terms of expenditure.

Although many owners do not see the necessity of making monthly levy payments on time, it is very important that levies are paid on time monthly for the Body Corporate to function properly.

I hope you find this new section informative and look forward to receiving your questions for the next edition.

Yours faithfully

 

Ashleigh Strydom

Portfolio Manager

Who must maintain the window frames of my property?

Tarleys Trust 0 comments 22.01.2016

Section 5(4) of the Act provides that the common boundary between any section and another section or common property shall be the median line of the dividing floor, wall or ceiling, as the case may be.

If the frames are flush with the exterior surface of the wall, they are likely to be entirely common property.

If they are flush with the interior surface of such walls, they are likely to form part of the sections.

The third possibility is that the width of each frame extends on both sides of the median line or mid-point of the exterior wall. In this case the frames will be partially common property (the exterior portion of the frame) and the balance of the frame will form part of a section.

If the window frame forms part of a section, the unit owner bares the responsibility of maintaining the window frames. In terms of section 44(1)(c) of the Act each owner is obliged to repair and maintain his section in a state of good repair. Thus the body corporate has no primary responsibility in regard to maintenance of the window frames where they form part of sections.

Prescribed Management Rule 68(1)(iv) provides that an owner shall not do anything to his section or exclusive use area that is likely to prejudice the harmonious appearance of the building. Accordingly any owner who wishes to replace a window frame which forms part of this section and which is visible from the exterior of the building should first obtain the consent of the trustees.

If the window frames are entirely or partially common property. We can deal with these two possible cases together because where a part of the frame is common property it must inevitably be that part which is exposed to the elements.

If the window frames are entirely or partially common property the body corporate is responsible for their maintenance. Section 37(1)(j) of the Act provide that the body corporate is obliged properly to maintain the common property and to keep it in a state of good and serviceable repair. In these circumstances the body corporate clearly cannot require individual owners to pay the cost of replacement of the window frames.

In practice, it is most common found that in maintaining or replacing window frames, the Body Corporate and section owners usually share the costs for maintenance or replacement.

Yours faithfully

 

Ashleigh Strydom

Portfolio Manager

When is the right time to change Managing Agents?

Tarleys Trust 0 comments 22.01.2016

One of the most common problems in Sectional Title developments today is that Owners are saddled with Managing Agents who are either unwilling or unable to service the needs of the Body Corporate.
In practice, this creates much uncertainty in the building and can give a building a reputation for being mismanaged or have inadequate finances.

Trustees and Owners are often hesitant to change Managing Agents for various reasons. This can cause a variety of problems to the other Owners within the complex.

Should Owners be experiencing problems with their current Managing Agents, the Managing Agents should be informed of the problems experienced and be given the opportunity to improve in the specified areas, if they are unable or unwilling, it is in the interests of all other Owners that the management contract be reassigned to another firm.

It is important that prospective Managing Agents be informed of the problems that were previously experienced to ensure that the new firm can improve in these areas.

Always ensure new prospective Managing Agents are in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate and registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board and are full member’s professional organizations such as NAMA (National Association of Managing Agents).

Always remember that Managing Agents are responsible for a large extent of the finances, maintenance and reputation of the building and having the right Managing Agent will go a long way to ensuring your long term investments don’t fall into a black-hole of depreciation.

The Importance of NAMA

Tarleys Trust 0 comments 22.01.2016

NAMA, the National Association of Managing Agents, is an important functionary body in sectional title management today.

It is not compulsory for Managing Agents to be members of NAMA, but one should always ensure that their managing agents are registered as FULL STATUS members with NAMA. All members of NAMA are bound by the code of conduct which NAMA has introduced. This code of conduct needs to be strictly adhered to in addition to the provisions imposed in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act.
Members are constantly kept up to date with the latest developments in the industry and the organization boasts a range of different professionals on their committee at both national and provincial level.
The importance of being members of NAMA for Managing Agents, and an affiliate member if not a Managing Agent should not be underestimated.
All members are checked for compliance with procedural and statutory requirements before allowing membership.
With so much uncertainty in the industry, we recommend all contractors for any Sectional Title scheme are members of NAMA.
For more information please visit www.namasa.co.za

How to change Managing Agents

Tarleys Trust 0 comments 22.01.2016

The decision to change Managing Agents can often be an agonising and troublesome task, in part due to the operational input the Managing Agent has on the Body Corporate and its finances.

If the Owners in a scheme feel there are sufficient grounds to change Managing Agents, they should inform the Managing Agent of their intention to change and thereafter call for and evaluate proposals from different companies.

Price is not the only thing to consider when making a change but rather the overall service delivery of the Managing Agent to ensure both a smooth transition as well as continued flawless service. Make sure your change is for the better!
The amount of notice required to terminate a Management contract may vary depending on the original signed agreement. However, most agencies will accept Two Month’s written notice. It is usually suggested although not a necessity that the termination date coincides with the financial year end to make the transition of the financial information less troublesome.

The term of service of a Managing Agent is usually fixed for one year at the Annual General Meeting. Should notice need to be given to the current Managing Agent, this should preferably be done by the Trustees before the Annual General Meeting or, failing which, at the Annual General Meeting. The Managing Agents are elected for the ensuing year at the Annual General Meeting of the Body Corporate.

Find a Managing Agent that’s right for you.

Contact us for a free consultation

Owners of Immovable Property Should Transfer it Into Their Own Name As Soon As Possible

Tarleys Trust 0 comments 22.01.2016

Do you own property through a trust, company or CC? Transfer it into you own name before 31 December 2012 to avoid paying transfer tax

Those who own residential immovable property in the name of a juristic person (Ie. a trust, company or close corporation (CC)) have until 31 December 2012 to transfer the property into their own name without paying additional taxes if the beneficiaries or members meet certain conditions.
These conditions are set out in paragraph 51A of the Eighth Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1962. One condition is that the property must be transferred to a person who ordinarily resided in the property for a certain period. But on 2 June 2011, the National Treasury announced that it intends changing the law to scrap this condition. The only requirement in this regard would be that the member or beneficiary had used the property for domestic purposes.
Proper advice should be sought before transferring property in terms of the new legislation as the property may still be subject to Donations tax in certain circumstances.