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Sectional title corner – What’s the new Ombud levy?


Hi there, I heard there is another levy we will soon have to pay that has to do with a new Ombudsman? – Paul


Hi Paul, yes this is true; there is a new Ombud that has been established for all community schemes (including sectional title schemes, homeowners associations, shareblock schemes etc).

The Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) Act was published back in 2011 but could not come into force before the Regulations to the act had been finalised and published. This will happen on Friday (7 October 2016).

The act requires all community schemes to register with the service and all scheme unit owners to pay a CSOS levy. This will be calculated by taking your unit’s monthly levy, deducting R500 and then calculating 2% of this amount (a maximum of R40 per unit per month).

This levy will be used to finance the Ombud service that will basically provide a cheap, quick solution for dispute resolution and that will keep records of all schemes’ governance documents.

Here’s what else the Ombud will do

Each unit owner will have to pay the levy and will be raised as a separate line item on their monthly levy accounts.

The levies have to be raised starting 1 January 2017 and paid over to CSOS on a quarterly basis.

How to calculate your CSOS levy

Current levy = R1,000 per month

Subtract R500 (R1,000 – R500)

Multiply by 2% (R500 x 0.02)

CSOS levy = R10Trafalgar logo fc_pay off line

Got a burning question? Email david@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist you. 

Who is Karien Coetzee?

Karien Coetzee, national property management consultant at Trafalgar.

Karien Coetzee, national property management consultant at Trafalgar.

Karien Coetzee is the national property management consultant at property management company, Trafalgar. She holds qualifications in sectional title schemes management and homeowners association management.



David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Review overview
  • kavitha Harrilall 27th December 2016

    i own and live in a flat in a sectional titled property. i have bought and renovated it approximately 3 years ago. every six months i had water oozing through the tiles in my en-suite bathroom, thinking it was my problem it had plumbers come and go. early this year i had a leak detector company come in detect the leak and it was discovered the problem stemmed from a outer body corporate pipe. this leak damaged my wooden floors in my bedroom and the cost of the plumbers was enormous. there was a insurance claim put through via the managing agents (small property administration). once in June and than again in November and both times my claims were rejected. please advise me on how i should recover the money i have spent on fixing a problem that was not mine. hoping to hear from you soon. thank you kindly

  • Mia 26th January 2017

    I’ve renovated my flat about 3 times in the last 4 years.
    I’ve had bad damp and mould on all my internal walls – I’m on the top floor so I have the roof & ceilings.

    Many times a Roofing contractor has come out to “fix” the roof leak (as the BC assumed it was that) and all times the Contractors said the roof was fine.
    There are cracks on the outside of my units external walls. This is where I think the problem is as my paint, plaster/rhyolite plaster keeps lifting right off the walls.

    I’ve tried to water-proof internally twice – but it keeps lifting and leaves dust and mould behind which is a healthy hazard.

    When the Property Insurers came out to assess it – they said its resultant damage because the complex hasn’t been maintained from the day it was built – about 20 years ago. Which means the damp/weather proofing is not being kept up externally.

    They keep giving me the run around – and no contractor suggested by them wants to fix my internal walls as they said its a waste of time without the external wall being fixed.

    They keep giving different stories about dates & money with regards to restoring the exterior.

    What options do I have?

    I cannot afford to keep painting every year and hiring someone out of my own pocket – when all this is coming from outside.

    Please help!

  • Anne 2nd February 2017

    I am an owner in a sectional title complex and i have problems with the trustees and the managing agent. When i was part of the trustees and raised issues that they did not like they collectively were abusive and were disrespectful towards me. I was a pain in the side because i questioned their actions. I left the trustees committee and now as an owner who raises issues to them to them – this same type of abuse continues. This type of behavior was also expressed in a AGM to another black owner where one of the trustees swore at her.
    I want to raise this with the ombudsman but am not sure if this is the right channel and if so how do i get hold of this ombudsman. Advise in this regard would be appreciated.

    • Pinky pillay 1st July 2018

      Omg.. this is a culture… I am experiencing 100% the same I’ll treatment… I was a trustee and now with CSOS it’s a matter of who fabricates the best lie… can’t win with corrupt teams… it’s a value chain of corrupt individuals … we won’t win…

  • Alida Nel 5th February 2017

    As pensioners living in a very small complex, we find it increasingly difficult to cover expenses. We have lived here for ten years with no problem at all. Why should we pay a monthly levy for services we do not need and do not use. I’ll gladly make use of a preferred legal adviser should a problem ever ocur. BUT… why are we FORCED to pay for services not rendered . One does not pay a docter when one is not sick. Payment is only due after consultation. So why must we give away our hard earned money for no service at all. Subsadising other peoples problems is very unfair. Can we refuse to pay this levy.

  • Brina 20th February 2017

    Hi David

    I am curious RE this CSOS levy and the rest of the legislation RE annual maintenance etc. So my query stems from the following scenario, where my husband and I purchased a property where the ERF was split in two, 6 months later the second property (on the same ERF) was sold, when the developers then went through the process of handing over we found out we had purchased a Sectional Title – I can only assume that they did this to save costs, however our neighbours on the ERF and us agreed that we will not pay a levy as there is no common ground, we also agreed to run our homes (maintenance etc) at our own cost and infact we don’t interact at all except for sharing a kitchen wall, so:

    a) are we liable for the CSOS levy/registration (considering we are exempt from the levy as it is at R0)
    b) if you do know anything RE this, is there a process to deregister a sectional title with city council and register us as standalone units on one ERF (what would be our recourse to change this and to what?)

    I look forward to your response.


  • Johnny 28th March 2017

    I live in a ‘retirement village’ in Roodepoort that is fully occupied (48 units) but for which the Section 82 certificate has not yet been issued. This lack of certification has been a bone of contention between the residents and the developer ever since the first units were occupied about 4 years ago. Occupation is in terms of ‘life rights’. There is only an ‘interim’ management committee (IMC) in the complex, and the IMC does not get municipal accounts; these are seen only by the developer, who then gives us his version of what amounts he wants the residents to pay in respect of rates, water etc. So we have no way of telling whether the budget (and hence levies) is a true reflection of actual running costs. The developer has been adding the CSO levy to our monthly levy statements since the beginning of the year, but by his own admission he has only “applied for”‘ registration with the CSO. Given that registration is not yet finalised, is this complex even a recognised ‘community scheme’ as envisaged by the CSO Act? Is the developer entitled to demand that we pay CSO levies even though the complex is not yet registered with the CSO? I sent the CSO an email requesting clarification, but have received no reply. Any advice you can give will be appreciated.

  • Ina 30th April 2017

    I am told the Act requires levy to be paid by 4th of month. I sometimes pay on the 7th with email notification from bank to managing agent. I get slammed with R75 for ‘HA Arrears Letter – Afmin Fee’ is this correct or even fair?

  • Anitha Sookram 7th May 2017

    Hello, I am an owner in a complex, when I investigated prior to buying , I was happy with the way the complex was managed , since there has been a change in the trustees , hence there are many issues , firstly starting with a new security on board that does not even have the Complex rules. The trustees themselves are breaking every rule in the book. Please help.

  • L.A. Ferreira 19th May 2017

    What is the process of handing over an outstanding CSOS levy.

      • L.A. Ferreira 22nd May 2017

        The owner is in arrears with his levies already been sent 2 notifications. What is the CSOS process of handing him over.

  • nila 8th June 2017

    I live in a complex of 200 units I believe that the board of trustees are misusing our funds by taking cash for parking bays from sub-letters renting in the complex how can we get this audited and investigated who can assist
    please do not give my details to anyone ,for now I want more information to get this place audited the books are being cooked

    • Pinky pillay 1st July 2018

      I wish I could get an answer to this

  • Prega Pillay 11th July 2017

    I’m renting in a complex,My landlord bills me every month for-
    1.SEW Sewerage.
    2.EG Electricity General.
    3.ESC Electricity Services Charge.
    4.WG Water General.
    5.MR Meter Reading Fees.
    6.EU Electricity Unit-i Know i’m responsible to pay this bill.

    I have brought it to his attention, he says i’m responsible because i’m making use of it.
    Please advise will be highly appreciated.

  • Yvonne 17th August 2017

    Hello we had a dodgy trustee who has been defrauding our body corporate but has covered his tracks well. He was in cahoots with the management agent and they were sharing the spoils. Whenever we asked questions he refused to answer and tried to change topics. He resigned as a trustee and then sued one of our new trustees for defamation in her private capacity and said that the body corporate cannot pay for these legal fees so this amounts to persecution of a trustee as a private individual. Can a trustee be sued in their private capacity for doing their job? Our body corporate pays csos levies so how can the ombudsman assist this trustee?

  • Namz 17th September 2017

    Hi I recently moved into an old apartment , my lounge wall is right next to my neighbors bathroom wall and his pipes make a loud noise when he turns on any taps. The trustees say that it’s an owner to owner issue and the managing agent and the trustees won’t get involved in such issues. The neighbor who is also the caretaker of the building keeps telling me it’s a complex issue. I’m new to the complex and I’m not getting any assistance from the whitfields or the trustees.the trustees don’t seem to want to get involved. What can I do in this situation? And my levy is very high for a 1 bedroom apartment.

  • Melinda Visser 19th October 2017

    What qualifications do I need and how do I go about to register on the Ombudsman Mediator and Arbitrator panel (Sectional Titles)

  • Stephen 3rd January 2018


    A special levy was raised to cover debt incurred for water usage in our complex over a 36 month period backdated.
    Although owners have paid these costs it was never billed by the municipality nor paid to them. We are now expected to repay these costs through a special levy, however, this is now calculated per PQ and not per actual cost.
    Owners with larger units and little monthly consumption is now expected to pay way more than owners with smaller units and high consumption.
    Any input will be appreciated

  • portia Kumalo 22nd February 2018

    I leave in a complex where i’m paying levies electricity,water,sewer, common property electricity,common property water separate not included in my levies. also need to know if in arrears with your levy the 2%interest is calculated based on what? should I be charged interest legal admin fee and other legal fee to the attorney fees not explained what is the +-R5000.00 added in to my statement with no explanation. is it legal? my payment are sometimes not allocated.

    can ombudsmen assist in this matter?

    any advise will be much appreciated

  • Lesley 31st May 2018

    Can an owner that has been served summons for non payment of levies and who is a perpetual non-payer take the Trustees to the ombud?

  • Lesley 31st May 2018

    Can a Trustee be taken to the ombud in their personal capacity for conducting Trustee business and acting for and on behalf of the BC?

  • Pinky pillay 1st July 2018

    My gosh I hope #CSOS can respond to these…. it’s a culture n a trend…. n must be investigated