Supplying owner and trustee details prescribed by Sectional Title Act

Posted On Tuesday, 17 July 2012 12:41 Published by
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It often happens in sectional title schemes that there isn’t complete transparency when it comes to the owners’ and trustees’ contact details; if there are problems in a sectional title building, owners need to communicate with others in their scheme about the nature of the problem or the steps that need to be taken to remedy the situation, but often these lists are not disclosed or made available on request

 

So says Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, the sectional title management company, who continues: “Recently, for example, I came across someone who wanted to let fellow owners in her sectional title scheme know that there were fire hazards and non-compliant building permits. When she wrote to the managing agent for a list of owners, they refused to give the list to her,”.

Often too, on these lists there are only names and physical addresses, not cell phone numbers or email addresses.

Section 37 (1L) of the Sectional Title Act says: “the body corporate shall on a reasonable request comply with names and addresses of the persons who are the trustees, the body corporate and the owners”.

“What people tend to forget,” said Bauer, “is that the Act is prescriptive, and what it says is what must be done. The problem with this is that the current Act that it was written in 1986, when there were no cell phones or email addresses. The information of fellow owners in a building can be obtained via the Deeds Office as it is a matter of public record, however, if the managing agents do not comply.”

What is important to remember is that any contact details, such as personal cell phone numbers or email addresses, should only be given to the person requesting them if it is a reasonable request and it must be fully justified in writing. The trustees are able to deny the request if it is not related to the management of the building. The right to access to a list of owners is not to be abused, said Bauer.

Bauer said examples of justified reasons to ask for a list of owners is if the trustees are not performing duties as they should or if there are breaches of the Sectional Title Act.

The Promotion of Access to Information Act, which is the national legislation that ensures the constitutional right of access to information, says that owners and other members of the public must be given access to information but the reason must be related to their building and the right must not be abused.

Last modified on Friday, 10 August 2012 10:37

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