By Jennifer Paddock
A2: Neither the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 nor the prescribed rules specifically require the chairperson of a body corporate to be an owner in the scheme. However, the chairperson has to be chosen from the scheme’s trustees and according to prescribed management rule 5 the majority of trustees must be owners or spouses of owners. Therefore the chairperson may be a non-owner trustee but the majority of the trustees must be owners or spouses of owners.
- If the pipe is part of your section (i.e. within the median line) it is your responsibility unless the pipe serves a number of parts of the scheme (i.e. more than one section), then it is the body corporate’s responsibility.
- If the pipe is outside your section (i.e. on the common property) the body corporate must maintain and repair it even if it only serves your section.
Unnecessary special levies?
Q3: Hi. We received a letter informing us of a special levy for 6 months starting from the end of February 2010. The reason for this is because they want to paint our complex. There is no paintwork required. They did the painting of the gutters etc last year in November 2009. Is this allowed? The trustees did not circulate the quotes and the letter informed us they have been looking for contractors for the past 6 months.
A3: In terms of prescribed management rule 31(4) the trustees may from time to time raise special levies without consulting owners when it is necessary and when the expense has not been budgeted for. Painting of the scheme’s building is an expense which is usually considered to be maintenance of the common property and this expense is usually budgeted for under the maintenance item of the annual budget. If painting of the building was included in the last annual budget and you believe that repainting the building is not necessary then you may want to inform the trustees that you believe they have irregularly raised the special levy. If they disagree with you then your recourse is not to withhold payment of the levy as this may ultimately end up costing you more in terms of interest and legal fees, but you can consider initiating arbitration against the body corporate. However, before you declare a dispute in this regard I suggest you obtain legal advice from an attorney who is well versed in sectional title matters. You may find that the legal costs involved in arbitration outweigh the costs of the special levy.