Sectional Title Trustees and Homeowners Association directors face COVID-19 liability

Posted On Friday, 22 May 2020 21:24 Published by
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The Covid-19 pandemic and South Africa’s lockdown regulations are impacting all aspects of our lives.


There are new and unprecedented challenges for owners, occupants and the executives in community housing schemes like townhouse complexes, retirement villages and residential estates, according to Marina Constas, specialist sectional title attorney and director of BBM Law.

“Trustees and directors have a role to play in fighting this virus and must ensure that they comply with regulations and meet their obligations,” Constas states.

She says that as the number of infections rises in South Africa, sectional title trustees and homeowners association directors must ensure that they are taking the requisite precautions to protect residents in community schemes. “They face a real liability to deal with Covid-19 in their complexes,” she stresses.

“Community schemes’ executives like sectional title trustees and homeowners association directors have an obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that an occupier does not contravene the law, and this includes the lockdown regulations. The community scheme cannot exceed its powers, however, and make different and/or conflicting rules or directives contrary to the national legislation, which is the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 and Regulations, as well as the Community Schemes Ombud’s Directives.

“Over and above the fiduciary functions of the scheme’s executives, there is also the common law duty of care,” Constas explains. “To this end, it should be assumed that there are Covid-19 positive cases within the scheme and the scheme’s management must act accordingly.”

To help trustees, bodies corporate and homeowners associations deal with Covid-19, and to ensure that they comply with regulations and meet their obligations, Constas and her team at BBM Law have developed a Covid-19 Code of Conduct for Community Schemes.

“This is a detailed Covid-19 risk mitigation strategy for Community Schemes,” she reveals. “It covers their general liabilities, as well as rules around the movement of persons, common facilities and common property areas. In addition, we have compiled maintenance and gardening rules, as well as guidelines on deliveries to the complex. All of these are designed to ensure that the scheme’s executives are meeting their responsibilities during this crisis.”

To find out more about the BBM Law Covid-19 Community Schemes Code of Conduct, or to get a detailed policy for your Community Scheme, please contact Marina Constas by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +27 (0)11 622 3622.

Last modified on Friday, 22 May 2020 21:42

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