Dispute Resolution in Community Schemes

online short course

Register By

22 September 2017

Course Starts

2 October 2017

Course Fee

Payment plan available

R7,500 by 28 July 2017
(T&Cs apply)

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Disputes in community schemes are inevitable, and can have far-reaching consequences. It is vital for any affected parties to know and understand the internal and external remedies available to them, to resolve any issues of dispute.

This 8-week short course, offered in English, through our online learning platform, will give students an understanding of the various types of community schemes and how disputes that arise in them can be resolved, by the parties themselves or with the assistance of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (“CSOS“). The course is compiled by Professor Graham Paddock and convened by the Course Instructor, Zerlinda van der Merwe.

In module 1, we will cover the different types of “land” and the types of community schemes. After a brief history of registered rights in South African land, we will deal with the concept of ownership and more limited rights and then describe the legal and financial arrangements that apply in various types of community schemes, including sectional title schemes, home owners’ associations, share block schemes, retirement schemes and housing cooperatives. We will also look at the types of governance documentation found in community schemes.
In module 2, we analyse the CSOS Act, looking at the mandate and role of the Community Schemes Ombud Service, the type of disputes it manages, its role in investigation, conciliation and adjudication of disputes, the operation of the CSOS as well as the fees and levies it charges.
In module 3, we unpack the 7 categories of community scheme dispute described in the CSOS Act and examine the various orders that can be given by CSOS adjudicators, magistrates and judges under the CSOS Act and the STSM Act. In total we examine 39 different types of order in the categories of financial issues, behavioural issues, scheme governance issues, meetings and resolutions, management services, physical works, and other issues.
In this module we examine the process of negotiation between stakeholders to resolve community scheme disputes as well as the concept of internal dispute resolution, in which the scheme executives attempt to facilitate the resolution of conflict. We examine an internal dispute resolution procedure that can be adapted for use in a community scheme.
In module 5, we examine the requirements for CSOS applications, their assessment and possible requirements for further information or internal dispute resolution. We cover the reasons for possible rejection of applications, the required notice to affected parties and the notice of their submissions to the applicant. We then deal with he referral of the issue to conciliation or adjudication.
In module 6, we first examine the principles of mediation and conciliation and then look at the CSOS conciliation process in detail from initial preparation to the drafting of settlement agreements. We also examine the CSOS code of conduct applicable to both conciliation and adjudication proceedings.
In module 7, we look at the CSOS adjudication process from selection of the adjudicator, notice and fees, investigation, hearings and possible types of orders. We then look at notice and enforcement of CSOS adjudication orders, the right of appeal and public access to orders.
Finally in module 8 we look at the processes of arbitration and litigation, the alternatives to self-resolution and CSOS. We examine when these processes are appropriate, compare them to CSOS processes, look at the costs and the appointment of legal representatives. We give an overview of the hearing or trial process and, in the case of litigation, possible appeals.

Video coming soon!

Those involved in community schemes, including sectional title schemes, home owners’ associations, share block schemes, retirement schemes, and housing cooperatives, would benefit, including owners in community schemes, trustees, managing agents and other scheme managers, attorneys, administrators, arbitrators and mediators or other dispute resolution service providers.

Meet the Course Instructor

Zerlinda van der Merwe

Zerlinda van der Merwe

An admitted Attorney of the High Court, specialist Sectional Title Attorney (BA, LLB, LLM), Zerlinda brings a wealth of experience and forms part of the Paddocks Private Consulting Division.