The body corporate of a sectional title scheme is obliged to maintain and repair all the common property and to replace items when necessary, whereas sectional owners are legally obliged to maintain and repair their sections. Similarly, in other types of community scheme, the association is usually obliged to carry out certain work on common areas and owners or occupiers are obliged to do work in private areas.
Whoever is liable to carry out repairs, other interested parties are entitled to obtain a CSOS order obliging the relevant person to carry out those works.
In terms of section 39 (6) (b) of the CSOS Act, an application may be for an order requiring the relevant person-
“(i) to carry out specified repairs, or have specified repairs made; or
(ii) to pay the applicant an amount fixed by the adjudicator as reimbursement for repairs carried out or to be carried out in respect of the property by the applicant”
Where a party has carried out repairs that another person is legally obliged to do, he or she can apply for an order that the party responsible to do the repairs must reimburse the amount spent.
Examples of issues
An association may seek to compel a member to repair his or her private area where the disrepair impacts negatively on any other owner or occupier or detracts from the overall visual appeal of the scheme generally and therefore reduces the market value of the properties generally.
The reasons for such an application may include a reasonable fear that the disrepair is dangerous, it affects the structural stability or usability of some part of the scheme or that it in some other way prejudices the interest of other owners or occupiers.
This type of order is wider in scope than the one provided in section 39(6)(a) (Association repairs and maintenance) because it could be brought either to oblige the association to do work on the common areas or to get an owner or occupier to do work within a private area. It can also address a situation where the association or some other person has gone ahead and done necessary work, perhaps so as to avoid an obvious danger, and wishes to recover the reasonable costs.
Example of order
An example of the type of order the CSOS could give is:
That the Body Corporate of the Sunshine Rays Sectional Title scheme must within 7 days of the date of this order pay to Mr. Raymond Mfundi the sum of R6 500 disbursed by him in arranging urgent maintenance to the common property security system.
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