What is the domicilium citandi et executandi?

Latin phrases, as well all know, are much liked by those who draw up legal agreements – but they do have a tendency to confuse the average reader.

A phrase which is of particular relevance for sectional title trustees and sectional title owners owning sectional title property is the “domicilium citandi et executandi”.

Michael Bauer, General Manager of IHFM, a leading Cape firm in sectional title management, explains that the Prescribed Management Rule No 3 stipulates, by means of this phrase, that the trustees and owners have to let those who need to communicate with them know where they are.

“It ensures that they will be contactable.”

The owners have to be told the “domicilium citandi et executandi” of the body corporate, i.e. its registered physical address at the Annual General Meeting and this has to be in the same magisterial district as the sectional title scheme or, alternatively, where the managing agent operates from. It must, too, be the physical address of either the body corporate’s chairman, a resident trustee or the offices of the managing agent.

Should the address change, the trustees are required by law to inform all owners/members in writing as well as the Registrar of Deeds at the local authority.

In the case of sectional title owners, their “domicilium citandi et executandi” is by default the physical address of the section registered in their name. This address can be changed by the owner, but it has always to be in the Republic of South Africa and the body corporate must receive notice of this in writing.

Bauer points out that a fair number of owners in fact do not live in the unit or live overseas. Owners need to be aware that it is their responsibility to update the trustees on their contact details periodically. Owners have to bear in mind that in 1986, when the sectional title act was promulgated, electronic communication did not exist in its present form so it is still necessary to do this in writing.

In case of owners living overseas, correspondence will still legally be addressed to the unit they own locally and they have a duty to see that such information is forwarded to them. The greater use of email has, however, reduced communication problems here.

Article by: www.ihfm.co.za