Property management company Trafalgar has launched a free online course for sectional title building managers and caretakers.
This is the latest addition to a range of e-learning courses on offer since last year as part of its mission to inform and to empower those involved in running and managing community property schemes.
“There are already more than 35 000 residential sectional title developments in South Africa and more than 8 600 residential estates with Homeowners’ Associations” notes Trafalgar MD, Andrew Schaefer “and community housing is growing much faster than any other residential property sector. This is evident from the building plans passed in the first quarter of this year with 56% new sectional title flats and townhouses”.
“This means that the homes and property investments of many South Africans are in the hands of sectional title trustees and Homeowners’ Associations’ directors who are responsible for managing budgets, levies, and insurance matters as well as the daily security, cleaning and maintenance issues that arise in community schemes and on top of this, are expected to ensure a harmonious living environment through the effective application of management and conduct rules”.
However, many trustees and directors are property ‘amateurs’ who often get elected at an Annual General Meeting because they are the community-minded individuals who are willing to work – without compensation – for the benefit of their scheme says Schaefer. “They generally have little previous exposure to any of the role expectations, applicable legal frameworks and practicalities of being a trustee or director and they often receive more criticism than encouragement in return for volunteering a great deal of their personal time”.
“And the same can be said of most caretakers and building managers who are responsible for the day-to-day operations as decided by the trustees or directors but are often also the first point of contact for residents and owners with queries and complaints”.
Schaefer says this is a risky situation, which is why Trafalgar has made it a priority to provide free e-learning opportunities for trustees, directors, and caretakers to obtain the information and knowledge needed to fulfil their roles confidently, effectively and in compliance with all current legal and governance requirements.
“Our first course launched last year was Sectional Title for Trustees, and more than 1100 trustees have already enrolled for this course, which we believe will do much to raise the level of professionalism in our sector while also addressing the legal requirement for trustees to educate themselves about what is required of them”.
“We have since also developed an online training course for Homeowners’ Associations’ directors and a basic course for sectional title owners, as well as the new course for sectional title building managers and caretakers”.
A course for Homeowners’ Associations’ estate managers is currently in development.