UCT Dispute Resolution in Community Schemes

Online Short Course


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Course Fee

R5,500 per student

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 self-paced 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 Graham Paddock and convened by the Course Instructor, Ané de Klerk.

  • Module 1: Types of land and community schemes

    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.

  • Module 2: Overview of the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act

    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.

  • Module 3: Types of CSOS orders and underlying disputes

    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.

  • Module 4: Informal dispute resolution options

    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.

  • Module 5: Applications to CSOS

    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.

  • Module 6: CSOS conciliation

    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.

  • Module 7: CSOS adjudication

    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.

  • Module 8: Arbitration and High Court litigation

    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.

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.

Professor Graham Paddock

Graham Paddock

Graham BA.LLB (UCT) is a practising Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer, specialising in all forms of community schemes. He was the lead consultant to the government in the introduction of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act and the Community Schemes Ombud Service and an adjunct professor at UCT for ten years.

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