Sectional title schemes rely heavily on its members to ensure the effective functioning and operation of the scheme. While often not the first port of call, should other avenues have already been explored, there are situations in which a member of the sectional title scheme may be fined for contravening management or conduct rules.
The Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, 8 of 2011 enables a body corporate to impose rules on its members and to amend these rules, provided this is done with the consent of the sectional title scheme members.
Once agreed upon, all members within the sectional title scheme are bound by these management and conduct rules.
A special meeting can be held at which members can vote to include a rule allowing the imposing of fines on members of the body corporate if this was not originally included in the body corporate rules.
When fines may be imposed
Fines are typically issued by the trustees of the body corporate or by the managing agent in cases such as:
having pets on a property when it is prohibited in terms of the body corporate rules;
hanging of washing on a balcony, when it is prohibited in terms of the body corporate rules;
failing to pay levies timeously;
causing damage to the common property;
playing loud music at times when this is not allowed in accordance with the body corporate rules.
These are simply examples, and the reasons for a fine will depend on the specific rules which vary in each sectional title scheme.
The procedure to impose a fine
The body corporate rules and regulations will stipulate the procedure to be followed when a fine is issued against one of the members, which would normally entail that the transgressor is notified in writing of the fine and the amount thereof.
It is of the utmost importance that the members, trustees and managing agents follow the body corporate rules and regulations when imposing fines in order for the matter to be dealt with in a fair and orderly manner and to avoid any disputes or negative consequences later on.
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