Get them to cough up

Question:

I am a trustee of a scheme with 11 units. There is one owner who owns three units and I am struggling to get him to pay his levies as well as his water and electricity.

Is there any legal action that we can take against him? I have written several lawyer’s letters to him without any success.

Answer:

The first step in the process of recovering arrear levies and/or amounts owed to the body corporate from an owner is to send that owner a letter of demand.

You say that you 'have written several lawyer's letters to him without any success' so I presume that you have taken this first step.

Due to the fact that the defaulting owner has failed to comply with your demand, the trustees' next step is to hand the defaulting owner over to a debt collecting attorney who will issue summons against him and follow the debt collection procedures in the magistrate's court.

The body corporate should also be able to recover all the legal costs incurred in the process of recovering these outstanding amounts from the owner concerned in accordance with the provisions of prescribed management rule (PMR) 31(5).

The trustees should also ensure that they have taken a resolution in terms of PMR 31(6), setting a rate of interest to apply to arrear levies so that the body corporate does not lose any money in the time that it takes to recover these arrear amounts.

Article by: Jennifer Paddock - www.paddocks.co.za