This article will focus on the consequences of a community scheme’s failure to comply with some of the requirements of the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act 9 of 2011 (“the CSOSA”).

The CSOSA has set out a number of requirements that must be complied with by community schemes across the country, and certain requirements have deadlines which must further be met.

For example, every community scheme must register with the Community Schemes Ombud Service (“the CSOS”), providing the CSOS with their governance documentation and any other information that may be required to be completed and submitted to the CSOS; pay a levy to the CSOS, according to a prescribed formula and recoverable from the members of the community schemes; and file its annual returns and copies of its annual financial statements with the CSOS.

In terms of section 34 of the CSOSA, there are various listed offences, which, if contravened, may result in conviction. This section provides that any person, associated with a community scheme or with the CSOS, may be found guilty of such an offence, and may be liable, on conviction, to a fine or imprisonment, for a period not exceeding 5 years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment. Should such a person be convicted for a second, or subsequent conviction, for a listed offence, they may be liable to a fine or imprisonment, for a period not exceeding 10 years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment.

The listed offences are:

  • The failure to provide access to any of the scheme’s records, including its books of account;
  • The failure to comply with a directive issued by the Chief Ombud;
  • The failure or refusal to give the required information, or the giving of false or misleading information;
  • The refusal to perform a duty or the prevention of someone from performing a duty in terms of the CSOSA;
  • The acceptance of an unauthorised fee or reward in connection with a position within the CSOS;
  • Making use of the name, design of logo of CSOS without permission to do so;
  • The failure to comply with the fiduciary duties of the CSOS, and the unauthorised disclosure of the information of the CSOS.

As you can see from the above, it is vitally important for scheme executives and members to comply with the provisions of the CSOSA, as the consequences for non-compliance is quote far-reaching.

Should you have any queries relating to this topic, require legal advice, or want to find out about our courses, contact us via email at or telephonically on 021 686 3950.

The Guide to CSOS Applications for Dispute Resolution

Paddocks has designed a free, online guide to assist you in understanding the CSOS, the types of orders it can grant and the process of putting together an application for dispute resolution. Click here to visit the guide and minimise the chance of your order being rejected unnecessarily.

Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 12, Issue 07, Page 02.

Zerlinda van der Merwe is 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.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Back to Paddocks Press – July 2017 Edition.


  • Charles Mare
    26/07/2017 11:33

    Very interesting reading. As a Body Corporate we have been trying to communicate with CSOS have sent all our documents as required but to date have had no response whatsoever. Its like talking to a robot with dead ears. What do you suggest as a last resort. We want to comply its so frustrating.

    Regards Charles Mare

    • Belinda Daymond
      26/08/2017 13:43

      Dear Sir . I found that the only way to get assistance with the Community Ombudsman is to go to their Regional office in person and take up space and pace up and down , talk loudly on your cell phone and make them feel on edge.

    • Lindsay Gartrell
      27/09/2017 11:39

      We have had exactly the same experience. Have sent all the necessary documents to the Ombud well in time and have not heard a word. We are collecting the CSOS levies but do not know what to do about paying them as we have not received a registration number.

  • Dirk van Niekerk
    15/09/2017 12:46

    We submitted the application for registration to CSOS.
    We have had no response.
    we have trying to follow up – no response as yet please advise on what you suggest we do.
    We cannot pay levy over without registration number.

  • Vivienne Mabille
    16/01/2019 11:51

    The original owner/developer has not paid levies since the building became a Sectional Title. We went to CSOS and they issued a court order for him to pay all the moneys owed from day one into the body corporate. However, he has ignored the instruction from CSOS. He did not attend the arbitration or adjudication meetings and also did not submit an objection to the ruling to the high court. What do we do now? Are we responsible to appoint an attorney?

    • Paddocks
      06/02/2019 09:37

      Hi Vivienne,

      Thank you for your comment. We would love to help, however we do not give free advice. Here’s how we can help:

      – We offer consulting via telephone for R490 for 10 minutes. Please call us on 021 686 3950.
      – We have Paddocks Club, an exclusive online club, to help you get answers to your questions about community schemes.

      Kind regards,

  • Siphelele
    11/03/2019 17:23

    Interesting there a complaint process against CSOS I. E. In the event where they didn’t follow their own process and called an adjudication hearing before the conciliation process? Just because the complainant had an inside man they know?

  • I logde URGENT complains Application to CSOS . SIX months later after a lot of mails, we got EVENTUALLY GOT conciliation date. Respondents failed to attend. Week later we got arbiteation date for 5 April: week later arbitration date was cancelled..excuse…will be set down for later date. Now a month, still no date -reason given ‘ will be notified. Now nearly 8 months and still waiting whilst financial & other managent issues just get worse. What is there problem delaying such matters for months on end????? Wasting time and depency on their supposed assistance AND OVERSEEING give Lawful in rulings of non compliace to STMA.
    A lot can happen in 8 months??????