Of the continuing stream of problems we hear about in sectional title schemes, many if not most seem to have their root cause in… well, let’s not use the word ignorance because of its negative connotations, let us say misinformation, or as often, no information at all.People buy into sectional title schemes having absolutely no idea of the restrictions, obligations and risks involved. Most only know they have to pay a levy. So they get very cross when they get told they can’t keep their pet, or install a solar water heater on the roof or that they must pay for the removal of a tree in their exclusive use garden, just because the trustees decided it needs to go.
Yes, the Sectional Titles Act and the scheme’s register and rules of schemes are public documents, and yes again, prospective buyers are ultimately responsible for informing themselves before getting into a situation that makes them unhappy. However, if they do not know that they lack important information, someone should tell them – and who better than the agent who sells them the property?
There are many estate agents who have very little specialised sectional title knowledge. They are not able to explain to prospective buyers what they really need to know in order to make an informed decision about buying sectional title property, let alone buying into a particular scheme. Here are examples of how two owners ended up being very unhappy with their purchases. These stories really and truly happened. We will call the agent “Harry”.
We have heard plenty of complaints about estate agents but we have not personally heard of any estate agent who has been held accountable for this kind of negligence. We have, however, personally heard of proactive, knowledgeable estate agents who are able to generate new and repeat business for themselves because of their reputation for specialised service excellence.