We will shortly begin the 20th presentation of the UCT Sectional Title Schemes Management course; the first presentation started in December 2005 and 2065 students have been trained so far.
During the introductory part of the course workshops, the students introduce themselves, mentioning who they work for and why they did the course. It’s very interesting, because while many people do the course because their employers require it, many others say they did the course to increase their knowledge of sectional title management. They say the course gives them the confidence to face trustees and challenging owners, to help them and advise them. We are pleased to hear this because it means that we, in turn, are helping the sectional title community in a very real way.
However, some people are wondering whether to delay doing the course until the “new” Act, the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA), is operational and the course updated to accommodate the changes. We see no reason to delay, firstly as it seems the course has such a positive, confidence inspiring effect “at the rock face”, and secondly because none of the basic principles regarding scheme management will change.
The body corporate will still need to have an administrative fund, the same process will be used to approve the budget and raise contributions for the fund, the trustees will still be elected in the same way, owners will still have exclusive use rights created in the same ways and will still have to pay for their maintenance, the body corporate will still maintain the common property and owners will still have to maintain their sections and ask for trustee consent to keep a pet.
The changes that will be introduced are in the detail. All community schemes should have a reserve fund from which to pay big, long term expenses. Most people know that when the STSMA comes into operation, schemes will be obliged to have a separate reserve fund, that there will be a specification on how much money it must hold, and that individuals will only be allowed to hold two proxies. There are some other interesting detail changes, such as a special resolution being required to authorise short leases of common property to owners and occupiers, and that the OMBUD Service rather than the courts will be used to collect arrear levies.
Which brings me to a final reason not to delay your or your staff’s participation on the 20th UCT Sectional Title Schemes Management course. Implementation of the STSM Act is linked to the implementation of the Community Scheme Ombud Service Act (CSOS). While we are optimistic that they will be implemented soon, as of the date of writing the regulations for both Acts haven’t even been published for public comment, yet alone tweaked to accommodate relevant suggestions from those whom the new legislation will most affect.
If you wait to do the course and the process is not completed as hoped and expected, in six months or a year you might still be without the qualification or the confidence you need to get ahead with your career.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 10, Issue 6, Page 3.
Anton Kelly is an extremely knowledgeable specialist Sectional Title and HOA teacher and consultant. Having been the lead teacher on all the Paddocks courses for the last 5 years, Anton lives and breathes Sectional Title and HOA law, all day every day. There are not many issues he hasn’t come across before.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.