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Plastic Bag Charge

By Josephine Gass on Sat, 10 Feb 2018 at 14:40

Our Trustees have recently introduced a voluntary recycling project. This includes the mandatory purchase of 10 plastic bags a month, which is included in the monthly levy amount, not itemised separately on the levy account. Firstly, can they force us to pay for these bags and secondly, can they charge the CSOS levy on this amount, which they are currently doing.

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RE: Plastic Bag Charge

Frances Paton replied on Sat, 10 Feb 2018 at 16:59

Hi Josephine
Prescribed Management Rule 25(5) states:
“The body corporate must not debit a member’s account with any amount that is not a contribution or a charge levied in terms of the Act or these rules without the member’s consent or the authority of a judgment or order by a judge, adjudicator or arbitrator”.
CSOS levies are based on the levies charged to owners of sections. The body corporate determines the scheme’s budget at its AGM and it is the trustees’ obligation to calculate the amount of each owner’s levy in accordance with the participation quota of each section. Additional charges should not be included in the CSOS levy calculation. If there are any additional charges, these should be itemised separately on your levy statement.
Your trustees have no right to impose charges for plastic bags (or any other charges which do not comply with PMR 25(5)) on the owners.

RE: RE: Plastic Bag Charge

Josephine Gass replied on Sun, 11 Feb 2018 at 12:41

Thank you so much for the response. The plastic bag charge has been included in the 2018 budget, to be presented at our AGM in March. It is under Key Services-Refuse Removal, but not itemised separately. Does this make any difference?

RE: RE: RE: Plastic Bag Charge

Annette Stones replied on Sun, 11 Feb 2018 at 16:56

Yes, Josephine, if the budget is approved at the AGM the amount in question can be included in the total monthly administrative levy, and would not need to be itemised as an additional charge. As such, it would be part of the levy amount on which the CSOS levy is calculated. Apart from environmentally friendly considerations, the exorbitant per bin cost of refuse removal makes the proposed provision for recycling seem not only reasonable but sensible. On what grounds would you object to it?

RE: RE: RE: RE: Plastic Bag Charge

Josephine Gass replied on Mon, 12 Feb 2018 at 12:31

Thanks Annette
This is an additional charge, as we already pay a monthly fee for the collection of our normal refuse (refuse that is not recycled). The recycling scheme is voluntary, however, the purchase of the plastic bags is mandatory and requires us to purchase 80 more bags than we would use in a year. We have been recycling ever since we moved here, at no cost to ourselves, using cardboard boxes, not plastic bags. So can we confirm that, in your view, the Body Corporate can legally charge us for these bags? Thanks so much.

RE: Plastic Bag Charge

andrew church replied on Mon, 12 Feb 2018 at 15:53

The plastic bag charge has been included in the 2018 budget, to be presented at our AGM in March. ??
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can they charge which they are currently doing ?
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You say (they are currently doing) I hope I am reading this correct? You say your AGM is only in March. The correct time to charge would be AFTER you and the other owners present at the AGM give their consent to pass the budget with the plastic INCLUDED or EXCLUDED in the budget at the AGM in March 2018 ???
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RE: RE: Plastic Bag Charge

Josephine Gass replied on Mon, 12 Feb 2018 at 16:29

Apparently there is provision for a charge to be made in advance of AGM approval of the Annual Budget, so we have no complaint on this issue. What we would like to know is, if the charge is in the budget and the budget is approved at the AGM (which it will be) is it perfectly legal for them to go ahead and charge us for the mandatory purchase of plastic bags (despite the fact that we are already paying a charge for refuse removal).

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