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Enforcement of rules - Dispute Resolution Part 4

In our last newsletter we looked at different dispute resolution options for a scheme. In this newsletter we look at the Community Schemes Ombud.

If internal mediation hasn't worked or the parties wish to avoid court or private arbitration, the body corporate or owners can approach the Ombud Service.

Types of disputes to go to the Ombud Service

  • Financial e.g. an order requiring the scheme to take out insurance or increase the amount of insurance.

  • Behavioral e.g. an order that particular behavior constitutes a nuisance requiring the person to refrain from acting in a specific way

  • Scheme governance issues e.g. an order to remove an unreasonable provision

  • General meetings e.g. an order to call a general meeting

  • Management services e.g. an order to appoint or terminate a managing agent's contract

  • Works pertaining to private and common areas e.g. an order requiring the scheme to have repairs and maintenance carried out.

The Ombud will when receiving a dispute, determine whether internal dispute resolution processes have been conducted and he may refer the matter to mediation/conciliation.

If there is no prospect of successful conciliation he will refer the matter to adjudication. The adjudicator must:

  • grant or reject relief sought

  • apportion liability of costs

  • include a statement setting our the reasons for the order

  • emphasize the right to appeal.

A body corporate or owners can appeal the order in the High Court, but only on a question of law.

Article courtesy of Marina Constas and Karen Bleijs Demystifying Sectional Title

Johannesburg | Durban | Cape Town | Bloemfontein | Port Elizabeth | Pretoria

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