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Sectional title corner – Do we need to pay CSOS levies if we are not registered?

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Q

Hi, 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 four 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 CSOS 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 CSOS. Given that registration is not yet finalised, is this complex even a recognised community scheme as envisaged by the CSOS Act? Is the developer entitled to demand that we pay CSOS levies even though the complex is not yet registered with the CSOS? I sent the CSOS an email requesting clarification, but have received no reply. Any advice you can give will be appreciated. – Johnny

A

Hi Johnny, if the developer is still the registered owner of all units he has to pay the CSOS levies to CSOS. With life rights the person living in the unit is never the registered owner. But the developer can obviously recover the CSOS levies from the life right holders.

The CSOS levies are payable from 1 January, 2017, whether you are registered with CSOS or not. And it is payable to CSOS quarterly (the first payment being due on 31 March, 2017).

The definition of a community scheme from the CSOS Act:

“community scheme” means any scheme or arrangement in terms of which there is shared use of and responsibility for parts of land and buildings, including but not limited to a sectional titles development scheme, a share block company, a home or property owner’s association, however constituted, established to administer a property development, a housing scheme for retired persons, and a housing co-operative as contemplated in the South African Co-operatives Act, 2005 (Act 20 No. 14 of 2005) and “scheme” has the same meaning

But the Section 82 certificate is the problem. I have contacted CSOS in Johannesburg and they suggested that the owners complete the Application for Dispute Resolution form and then the CSOS can take it from there.


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


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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.steynberg@gmail.com

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.

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