Sectional Title is an interesting field within the law, it is a form of ownership where a number of people can simultaneously own the piece of land on which a building or buildings is built, while each one of these owners individually owns a townhouse or a flat in the building. The section is the owners flat or townhouse and the term “Title” describes the ownership of fixed property in the form of land, or a section in a sectional title scheme. In terms of the Sectional Titles Management Act each owner within the scheme is liable for the payment of levies, which are determined from time to time by the duly appointed trustees of the Body Corporate. The monthly payment towards a levy includes for instance payment towards insurance, security, cost of repair, upkeep, control, management and administration of the common property.
When an owner continuously defaults in the payment of his/her levy, he is in effect being subsidised by the rest of the owners. In these cases, trustees of the body corporate is empowered by the Sectional Titles Management act to approach any court for recovery of outstanding levies.
Over the past years we have developed a successful collection process to assist Body Corporates and managing agents with the burden of the collection of outstanding levies.
THE COLLECTION PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL:
The law prescribes certain formal requirements for certain legal processes. When dealing with collections of arrear levy payment and or water and electricity charges the process that will be followed broadly entails the following:
- A letter of demand will be sent to the debtor;
- Summons will be issued against the debtor;
Once the above have been completed the process forward have two ways it can go, and that all depends whether the action has been defended by the debtor or not.
- Generally, we will file an Application for Summary Judgement;
- If the Summary Judgement was granted by the court, we will proceed with the execution process against the debtor’s possessions, if the debtor still refuses payment.
- If the application was not granted, we will proceed to Trial with the matter.
- No defence was filed after the Summons was served on the debtor by the Sheriff of the court;
- We will lodge a request for default judgement;
- Warrant of Execution;
- Attachment of movable assets and proceed with a sale in execution;
- Other alternatives we exploit are:
- Section 65 applications (order to repay debt in monthly installments);
- Section 66 applications (Attachment of immovable assets of debtor and the sale thereof in execution);
- Section 72 applications (Attachment of the debt);
- These are just a few common routes.
The above mentioned is what the process entails in a nutshell and has a lot more elements and requirements to it. That is why you should seek legal assistance to ensure that the process is concluded as soon as possible without delay and unnecessary expenses.
We also assist in drafting legal opinions to Body Corporates as well as to Managing Agents.