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Fine = Charging For Letters

By Jon Wood on Tue, 20 Mar 2012 at 18:12

Excerpts of letter I have received:

“The Trustees of your Scheme have now instructed us to place on record that the following complaint have been received against your occupants of your unit which are contradictory to the Rules: Excessive noise coming from the unit on 5 & 6 February 2011. Please take note that the Tenants are a nuisance to the co-tenants

The matter must be viewed in a very serious light and your co-operation to ensure that incidents of this nature do not re-occur will be appreciated. In view of the fact that our Management agreement with the Body Corporate does not provide for letters of reprimand to be sent out to tenants and/or visitors or owners, who does not comply with the Rules of Conduct, all letters sent regarding the non-compliance with the Rules of Conduct are charged at a rate of R185-00 per letter, the costs of which are being levied against the levy account of the owner.

In terms of Management Rule 69 of the Sectional titles Act 95 of 1986, a registered owner is responsible for the conduct of the tenant or any visitors. For this reason any correspondence regarding the non-compliance of Rules of Conduct will either be addressed to the owner personally or a copy of the letter will be submitted to him, in those cases where the letter is delivered to the tenants in person at the request of the Trustees. “

Firstly, the tenant never received any warning with regard to this incident and over a month later out of the blue the owners receive this above letter. Is it right for them to simply send out these letters and add R185 to levies each time? And how do we go about disputing it since the tenant was never even approached about that noise incident.

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RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Julie Steffers replied on Tue, 20 Mar 2012 at 20:40

Does the conduct rules of your BC state that fines may be charged? If so were they actually filed at the Deeds Office (if not they are invalid). Go to the Deeds Office and get a copy of the rules for your BC on file.

RE: RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Jon Wood replied on Tue, 20 Mar 2012 at 21:21

I was sent a copy of the Rules of Conduct by the management company. Nowhere does it say anything about fines or how things will be enforced. But are they not sort of bypassing this by getting the management company to charge R185 per conduct letter they send out?

RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Charles Miller replied on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 at 13:45

You need to note that this a warning letter to yourself as owner , which is what the managing agent is supposed to do .Neither he nor the Trustees hace the right to approach your tenant . The managing agent will charge someone for all work he conducts for it outside of his contract and letters to the owners seem to fall in this category.So he will recover costs from the owner.
Charles Miller.

RE: RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Annette Stones replied on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 at 14:02

Why should communicating trustees' decisions to owners necessarily be regarded as being additional to the MA's expected role? And why should a contract concluded between the trustees and the MA be binding on any owner adversely affected by what s/he was not party to either negotiating or agreeing to? And can a charge for a "letter of reprimand" (which, in this case, was actually a request for the owner's co-operation in resolving the problem which had arisen) be warranted if the owner had not first been informed, at the cost of e.g. a phone-call, of the situation?

Sorry, but I have an absolute aversion to MAs whose focus is not on what their role requires but on ways of milking the BC for more than their due. There is no justification for trustees to impose the machinations of MAs of this kind on the members of any BC.

RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Charles Miller replied on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 at 15:26

Hi Annette ,
Trustees are elected by the Body Corporate and as the executive it is their fiduciary duty to uphold the Management and Conduct Rules of the BC.
The executive is responsible to the the BC and doesn't have to communicate with tenants at all but are responsible to the owner/s , so Mr Wittstock would be told about the incident and if he needs to follow up on the complaint ,would approach the MA for whatever the complainant submitted at the time written or verbal . Otherwise this is not a "friendly request " but under the Rules requires that the owner "resolves the issue ".
I think of it as , if you are a landlord , ' you take the profit , you take the pain '.
I carry no brief for MA's either and think that they should be viewed as a valuable tool the use of which the user should make themselves thoroughly conversant .
Keep in mind tho that he is self employed and subsists on the income he generates from his clients . The owners always have the right to review his contract at financial year endand fire him if displeased.

RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Clive Owens replied on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 at 16:31

Follow

RE: RE: Fine = Charging For Letters

Sophy Mothibedi replied on Fri, 07 Sep 2012 at 13:36

There should have been a house rules circular but also I have noticed many owners do not attend meeting and whatever decisions are taken become new to them when their tenants are reported being a nuisance to the other people in the complex.

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