Monthly Archives: February 2015

Geskille met jou regspersoon: Eienaars se remedies

Delport_feb-blOns kantoor het onlangs ‘n aangeleentheid hanteer waarin die trustees van die regspersoon van ‘n sekere deeltitelskema ‘n wiel van die motor van een van die huiseienaars geklamp het (“wheel clamp”), omdat hy nie op sy toegekende parkeerplek geparkeer het nie.

Alhoewel die huiseienaar nie op sy toegekende parkeerplek geparkeer het nie, kon hy nie verstaan ​​waarom sy voertuig se wiel geklamp kon word vir parkering voor sy eie voorstoep terwyl hy in die loop van die dag in en uit die huis beweeg het nie, en was hy van mening dat dit hoogs onregverdige en onredelike optrede deur die trustees van die regspersoon was.

Dit is ‘n bekende feit dat elke huiseienaar in ‘n deeltitelskema nie net kan doen wat hy wil nie, want dit sou tot totale wanorde in die deeltitelskema lei. Dit is die plig van die trustees van die regspersoon om die reëls op alle eienaars en huurders af te dwing. Wanneer ‘n persoon ‘n eiendom in ‘n deeltitelskema koop, sal daar waarskynlik altyd ‘n bepaling in die ooreenkoms wees wat sê dat die huiseienaar, onder andere, die reëls van die regspersoon moet nakom.

Die vraag ontstaan egter of die huiseienaar se hande afgekap is indien die reëls van die deeltitelskema op ‘n algemene vergadering deur die trustees van die regspersoon gewysig is en die huiseienaar nie die reëls nakom nie.

Remedies beskikbaar vir huiseienaars en huurders

Indien daar rede is om te glo dat die trustees van die regspersoon van ‘n deeltitelskema ultra vires (buite hul magte) opgetree het, het huiseienaars twee remedies wat beskikbaar is, naamlik  arbitrasie of ‘n interdik.

1.         Arbitrasie stap-vir-stap

Die ontevrede huiseienaar kan aansoek doen vir arbitrasie, ‘n prosedure wat nie meer as ‘n maksimum van 52 dae moet duur nie.

Kragtens Artikel 71 van Aanhangsel 8 in die Wet op Deeltitels 95 van 1986 is die doel van arbitrasie nie, soos sommige glo, om nakoming van die reëls te bewerkstellig nie. Die voorgeskrewe prosedure vereis dat die ontevrede huiseienaar sy geskil skriftelik moet voorlê aan die trustees van die regspersoon van die deeltitelskema binne 14 dae vanaf die ontstaan van die probleem, waarna die trustees die geskil sal ondersoek en probeer om dit op te los. Indien die geskil nie opgelos kan word nie, kan óf  die huiseienaar óf die trustees van die regspersoon versoek dat die aangeleentheid vir arbitrasie verwys word.

Die arbiter het  wye diskresie in die maak van ‘n kostebevel. Die arbiter mag betaling deur die een party, meer as een party gesamentlik, of in ‘n spesifieke verhouding gelas, afhangende van die uitslag van die arbitrasie. Die arbiter se beslissing kan ook  ‘n bevel van die Hooggeregshof gemaak word op aansoek deur enige party of deur ‘n party wat geraak word deur die arbitrasie.

2.         Alternatiewe remedie

Daar is ‘n verdere remedie beskikbaar vir die huiseienaar, naamlik ‘n interdik of enige vorm van dringende of ander regshulp by ‘n hof met jurisdiksie.

Hou egter die volgende waarskuwing in gedagte:

Furthermore, the interdependence of the owners and occupants of units and the unavoidable requisite of harmonious co-existence render an interdict inadequate and indeed improper in the sectional title context. A successful application for an interdict can permanently ruin the harmony of a scheme’ (LAWSA aw para 238).

In wese kan jy die stappe soos hierbo uiteengesit volg vir verligting indien die reëls van jou deeltitelskema toelaat dat die trustees van die regspersoon jou motor se wiel mag klamp indien jy nie die reëls gehoorsaam nie, en jy rede het om te glo dat die regspersoon buite sy magte optree of dat die reëls onredelik is.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Disputes with Body Corporate: Homeowners’ remedies

Delport_feb-blOur office recently dealt with a matter where the trustees of the body corporate of a certain sectional title scheme clamped the wheel of the car of one of its homeowners because he did not park on his allocated parking bay.

Even though the homeowner did not park on his allocated parking bay, he could not understand why his vehicle got clamped for parking outside of his own front porch, when he was in and out of the house during the day. It seemed highly unfair and unreasonable to the homeowner.

It is a truism that every homeowner cannot do as he pleases as this would lead to total disorder in the sectional title scheme, and it is the duty of the trustees of the body corporate to enforce rules on owners and tenants alike. When one buys a property in a sectional title scheme one will more often than not find a provision in the agreement which states that homeowners, inter alia, will abide by the rules of the body corporate.

This begs the question whether or not the homeowner’s hands are tied if the rules were amended by a special decision taken at a general meeting by the trustees of the body corporate.

Remedies available to homeowners and tenants

If there is reason to believe that the trustees of the body corporate of a sectional title scheme have acted ultra vires (outside their powers), homeowners have a choice of two remedies –  either arbitration or an interdict.

1.         Arbitration step-by-step

The discontented homeowner could apply for arbitration, the duration of which should not exceed a maximum of 52 days.

In terms of Section 71 of Annexure 8 of the Sectional Title Act 95 of 1986, the purpose of arbitration is not, as some believe, to achieve compliance. The prescribed process requires the discontented homeowner to submit his dispute in writing to the trustees of the body corporate of the sectional title scheme within 14 days of the problem arising, whereafter the trustees will review and attempt to settle the matter. Should the problem still not be resolved, either the homeowner or the trustees of the body corporate can request that the matter be referred for arbitration.

The arbitrator has wide discretion in making a costs award. He may order payment by one party, by more than one jointly, or in specific proportions, depending on the outcome of the arbitration. The arbitrator’s decision may be made an order of the High Court upon application by either party, or a party affected by the arbitration.

2.         Alternative remedy

There is a further remedy available to the homeowner, namely an interdict or any form of urgent or other relief by a court with jurisdiction.

But this line of action has elicited the following warning:

Furthermore, the interdependence of the owners and occupants of units and the unavoidable requisite of harmonious co-existence render an interdict inadequate and indeed improper in the sectional title context. A successful application for an interdict can permanently ruin the harmony of a scheme (LAWSA aw para 238).

In essence, if the rules of your body corporate allow the trustees to clamp your wheel should you disobey the rules, and you have reason to believe that your Body Corporate is acting outside of its powers and/or the rules are unreasonable, you may follow the steps as set out above.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.