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Community Schemes Ombud Envisaged

Legalbrief  reported on 4 May that an ombudsman for sectional title and community schemes will be ‘formally established’ during the current financial year – giving practical effect to the 2011 Act. Noting the ‘unexpected challenge’ presented by communal living schemes, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told members of the National Assembly that the sector ‘must’ now be regulated – tending to suggest that draft secondary legislation could soon be released for comment.

The new ombud service will deal with complaints emanating from all schemes governed by a body corporate or managing agent – including golf estates. Also being drafted are regulations and guidelines aimed at ensuring that social housing units and government’s ‘growing rental stock’ are ‘properly’ maintained.

Yet to come into effect, the Act defines a community scheme as meaning any arrangement ‘in terms of which there is shared use of and responsibility for parts of land and buildings’. Specific reference is made to sectional title developments, share block companies – and home or property owners’ associations, ‘however constituted’, established to administer a property development, a housing scheme for retired persons or a housing co-operative

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