TO FIND OUT CONSIDER THE QUESTIONS BELOW :
17. Water consumption: You must check on this every month to get an average usage per month. Should this increase dramatically you either have an underground leak or someone in the complex may be running a laundry.
The sewerage fee is based on the amount of water consumed, so this cost will increase dramatically when there is a leak.
Not checking will end up costing the owners a lot of money, as the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will only give a credit of 50%.
The NMMM will only recognise one claim per 12 months for underground leaks. Once you have had one leak, the next one is going to cost a fortune and in many cases a special levy has to be imposed to pay it.
18. Resolutions: Do trustees know the difference between trustees' resolutions, special and unanimous resolutions and resolutions of an AGM?
19. Trustee election: Are trustees correctly elected? Has each trustee been given a portfolio duty or are they allowing the chairman to be a one-man band?
20. Trustees' duties: Are trustees acting within the Sectional Titles Act? If not they may become jointly liable for any gross negligence. Are trustees obeying any restriction or direction imposed at an AGM?
21. Minutes: Are minutes done correctly and filed?
22. Decisions by trustees: Are you aware of decisions that can and cannot be made by trustees? Trustees' decisions are resolved by a majority vote of the trustees present and voting at the meeting. A trustee may not vote or act as proxy for an absent trustee.
Any owner can attend a trustees' meeting, and speak, but not vote.
23. Improvements to common property: Trustees may not effect luxurious and non- luxurious improvements without abiding by Sectional Titles Act, management rule 33 (1) and (2). Read it before doing improvements.
24. Complaints: Do trustees insist that all owners' complaints be in writing?
25. Arbitration: Are you aware of rule 71 – the arbitration rule? Internal disputes between owners or between owners and trustees can now be taken to arbitration.
26. Black refuse bags: Are you aware that PE complexes (with or without a refuse bin container) may collect bags free of charge at the Cleansing Department in Harrower Road? Your ID will be requested.
27. Management agreement: The body corporate managing agent should be employed on a written contract. Do the trustees have a copy? Where applicable, are the trustees' responsibilities (as detailed in the act and the rules) adequately stated in the agreement, making them the responsibility of the agent? If not, and if no contract exists, the trustees remain liable, not the agent.
Is the agent performing all his duties as per the contract, or have they merely become a collection agent?
28. Elevator maintenance contracts: These are always automatically renewed every five or 10 years if the company is not given the stipulated notice prior to the end of the contract. A substantial discount can be negotiated by entering into a new agreement.
Do you have a copy of the contract? Obtain a copy to find out when it expires and when to give the company notice.
Secure quotes from opposition companies before negotiating the service agreement renewal.
29. Fire alarm: Does your block have a fire alarm to warn residents on different floors of a fire? It is a good idea to hold fire drills twice a year. The local fire marshal can advise you.
Fire hoses and extinguishers must be serviced every year by law. Should there be a fire the insurance company may not recognise a claim if the services were not performed. Each unit will have a date on it when it was last serviced.
30. Pets: Residents require written consent from trustees to keep a pet. On granting such permission do trustees stipulate conditions? Permission cannot be withdrawn unless conditions were stipulated.
31. New developments: Are trustees ensuring the developer is paying the levies for unsold units, and paying for water and electricity used during building operations? Are trustees aware that once the developer sells the last unit in the complex, all unsold exclusive use areas like parking bays become the property of the body corporate?
Did you know that all owners, including the developer, are trustees up until the inaugural general meeting? At this meeting the number of trustees agreed on are elected.
32. Stape: If in PE, is your body corporate a member of the Sectional Title Association of PE? Membership is well worth it. Les Reynard has been a managing agent for nearly 30 years. He is a member of the National Association of Managing Agents and has been a committee member of the Sectional Title Association of PE for 28 years. Contact Les at (041)365-2529 if you would like him to quote for the management of your body corporate. Sectional title questions may be emailed to him at: Les@ReynardAgencies.com