01 Nov 2012
A Property24 reader asks:
I just moved into an apartment I bought in a block of flats. I am the first owner of this apartment as it is a new development. At first our monthly levy was estimated at R700, however, when we moved in and after our first meeting, it went up to R932.
Then they added an additional R1 800 which must be paid over 3 months. This is a backdated levy that accumulated since the building was already using resources before we started occupying it. Now we are required to recover the cost even if the apartments have not been registered on our names yet.
Can we be held liable for the expenses of the building prior to the handover?
The owners of units in sectional title schemes are liable to make contributions towards the estimated expenditure of the body corporate on the basis determined in the Sectional Titles Act from the date upon which the body corporate comes into being.
A body corporate comes into being on the date that the first transfer of a unit from the developer to a third party is registered.
From that date onwards, all the registered owners are obliged to pay the levies determined by the trustees elected at the first general meeting. The developer remains the registered owner of all un-transferred units subsequent to the incorporation of the body corporate and, as such, will be liable for the levies attributable to those units until such time as they have been transferred to other purchasers.
In your case, it appears as if the developer (as is often the case) underestimated the levies and the trustees’ estimate of expenditure of the body corporate for the rest of the year resulted in a higher levy, which you are liable for.
I find it very odd that the trustees also resolved to raise a special levy in the first year of existence of the body corporate and I strongly suspect that the levy was raised for expenditure for which you are not liable. I would therefore recommend that you refuse to pay the special levy until the trustees have convinced you that:
I hope that the above advice will be helpful to you.
Readers may submit questions to Property24’s Guest Expert panel and/or comment below. We may not be able to answer all questions received, but all will be considered.
About the Author
Vacant Land / Plot for sale in Shelley Point R 3 900 000
House for sale in Norkem Park R 1 530 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Loevenstein R 850 000
House for sale in Norkem Park R 950 000
House for sale in Bathurst R 1 300 000
Townhouse for sale in Birchleigh North R 680 000
House for sale in Heuwelsig R 2 850 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Die Bult R 685 000
House for sale in Soneike R 1 747 500
Townhouse for sale in Terenure R 1 250 000
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Customer Service Centre for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724