Prop­erty in­dus­try stake­hold­ers work to­gether for cost-ef­fec­tive dis­pute so­lu­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

THE LAT­EST good news for sec­tional ti­tle home­own­ers and those in­volved in the in­dus­try comes in the form of re­cent dis­cus­sions and con­sul­ta­tion be­tween the Com­mu­nity Schemes Om­bud Ser­vice (CSOS) and stake­hold­ers like the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Man­ag­ing Agents (Nama), ac­cred­ited me­di­a­tors and le­gal ex­perts.

This is ac­cord­ing to spe­cial­ist sec­tional ti­tle at­tor­ney, Ma­rina Con­stas, who was re­cently in­vited to be part of the Depart­ment of Hu­man Set­tle­ments’ del­e­ga­tion at the Coun­cil of Prov­inces’ se­lect com­mit­tee hear­ing on the CSOS Act.

A direc­tor of BBM At­tor­neys and author of the book De­mys­ti­fy­ing Sec­tional Ti­tle, she acted in a sup­port role to the del­e­ga­tion in Par­lia­ment, of­fer­ing in­put on ques­tions from po­lit­i­cal par­ties re­lat­ing to the le­gal as­pects of the act and reg­u­la­tions. Con­stas was also in­volved in Nama’s meet­ing with the ex­ec­u­tive of CSOS.

“With the procla­ma­tion of the CSOS Act and the Sec­tional Ti­tles Schemes Man­age­ment Act im­mi­nent, co- op­er­a­tion like this is very pos­i­tive. It is ex­tremely en­cour­ag­ing that the om­bud and his team are en­gag­ing with im­por­tant in­dus­try stake­hold­ers, so that they will be well placed to re­solve dis­putes in com­mu­nity schemes once these acts are pro­mul­gated, which should hap­pen within the next three months,” Con­stas says.

CSOS was es­tab­lished to re­solve or ad­ju­di­cate com­plaints lodged with it re­gard­ing com­mu­nity schemes, in­clud­ing sec­tional ti­tle de­vel­op­ments like town­houses and flats, share­block com­pa­nies, re­tire­ment vil­lages and homes or prop­erty own­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tions.

“This ser­vice will have a very pos­i­tive im­pact on com­mu­nity schemes, where in the past there has been a lack of cost- ef­fec­tive dis­pute res­o­lu­tion op­tions. With the costs of lit­i­ga­tion and ar­bi­tra­tion be­com­ing pro­hib­i­tive, me­di­a­tion is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar al­ter­na­tive for re­solv­ing dis­putes in the South African sec­tional ti­tle in­dus­try,” Con­stas says.

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