Now that the new Community Schemes Ombud Service Act (CSOSA) and the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act (STSMA) have become effective (as of the 7th October 2016), there are certain things that trustees of sectional title schemes, share block schemes or homeowners’ associations will need to do within the next 90 days.
“We have compiled a simple list of what needs to be done – as listed below – so that these tasks do not seem overwhelming nor anything forgotten,” says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.
1. Register the scheme with the CSOS. This has to be done within 30 days of the Act becoming effective, and applies to all community schemes.
2. Lodge the community scheme’s governance with the CSOS as required by the published Regulations, which needs to be done within 90 days.
3. File the community scheme’s annual return and financial statements with the CSOS, which also needs to be done within 90 days. The form needed to do so is CS2, and is attached to the Regulations.
4. Establish what the CSOS levy is according to the table of costs provided by the CSOS, and start paying the quarterly levy. This must be done within 90 days and is detailed in Regulation 11.
5. Insure against the risk of loss in the case of any fraud or dishonesty in the handling of the scheme’s funds. This needs to be done as soon as possible, as it became necessary when the CSOSA was published in the Government Gazette and is therefore immediately necessary.
6. Notify the CSOS, the local municipality and local Registrar of Deeds what the scheme’s domicilium is. This is already effective and needs to be done as soon as possible. This, however, only applies to sectional title schemes and is detailed in section 3 (1)(o) of the STSMA. The required form A is attached to the Regulations.
7. Establish a reserve fund. A separate bank account should be opened for this and a separate budget compiled together with separate financial statements. This is immediately effective and should be tackled with urgency. Section 3 (1)(b) of the STSMA details how this should be done as well as Prescribed Management Rule 24 and various other new PMR. This is only applicable to sectional title schemes.
8. Prepare a written maintenance plan. This is also immediately effective and is detailed in PMR 22. Only sectional title schemes need do this.
Points (1) and (6) above should perhaps be done simultaneously, as it seems practical to register the domicilium and register the scheme with the CSOS at the same time, said Bauer.
Copies of the CSOS Regulations and STSMA Regulations as well as the required forms can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or going to http://www.ihfm.co.za/ihfm/faqcat.php.
“It is essential for all trustees of community schemes to become acquainted with the new Acts and Regulations, as there is much to do within the next three months”, said Bauer.