Two acts were recently signed by the President, with operation expected later this year, which affect Sectional Title and Community Schemes.
The 1st is the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act and 2nd is the Community Schemes Ombud Services Act.
Though the application of the above acts is yet to be tested it is largely believed that the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act will seek to assist bodies corporate to manage and regulate sectional titles schemes, including the application of the rules and to establish a sectional titles schemes management advisory council.
The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Advisory Council, will be tasked with making recommendations to and advising the Minister iro the provisions of the act; keep the implementation of the Act and the regulations under regular review. The Council will consist of not more than seven but not less than five members of whom one must be the chief Ombud, one must be a senior official of the department designated by the Director-General; and the remainder must be persons appointed by the Minister who must have skills, knowledge and experience in the management of a range of types of schemes.
The Community Schemes Ombud Services Act aims to provide for the establishment of the community schemes Ombud service and a dispute resolution mechanism in community schemes.
The Service must develop and provide a dispute resolution service; provide training for conciliators, adjudicators; regulate, monitor and control the quality of all sectional titles scheme governance documentation; and take custody of, preserve and provide public access to sectional title scheme governance documentation.
The industry has long talked of the need for an Ombud service, and later this year we may have one.