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A NEW LAW HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO PROTECT TIMESHARE OWNERS’ INVESTMENTS In our opinion we welcome this new law! In order to keep levies low, some community schemes have made no or little provision in  their annual budgets for future expenditure; instead, they raise special levies whenever  they are faced with a major expense. Many timeshare owners have been left out on a limb  and had to sell their timeshares because of these “unexpected” huge special levies which  they could not afford.  The law includes sectional title development schemes, share block companies, home or  property owners’ associations, and housing schemes for retired persons and housing co-  operatives. TIMESHARE IS SUBJECT TO THESE NEW LAWS. On 7 October 2016, the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act, No 9 of 2011 (Act) was  brought into force. The Act was drafted with a three-fold purpose: (i) to provide a dispute  resolution mechanism in respect of community schemes of the kind described above; (ii) to  promote good governance of community schemes and monitoring that governance; and (iii) to  provide education, information, documentation and services to raise awareness of persons  who have rights and obligations in community schemes.  One of the purposes of the Act is to provide for a dispute resolution mechanism in the  context of community schemes that is cost effective and efficient, and which does not  require consumers to engage legal representation, or draw on scarce judicial resources.  In short, it provides for the establishment of a body to be known as the “Community  Schemes Ombud Service” (Ombud). The Ombud is responsible for receiving and processing  “applications” by members of community schemes seeking relief pertaining to their particular  scheme.  The types of relief that may be applied for are divided into seven categories, namely, (1)  financial issues; (2) behavioural issues; (3) scheme governance issues; (4) meetings; (5)  management services; (6) works pertaining to private areas and common areas; and (7)  general and other issues. Some community schemes budget for future expenditure by saving a percentage of the  levies they collect annually from owners – usually in a bank’s money market fund.  It is now required that a body corporate is to establish two funds: an administrative fund  and a reserve fund. Contributions (levies) collected from owners must be paid into the administrative fund and  used to fund operating expenses only in the current financial year.   A portion of the contributions must also be allocated to the reserve fund and used to pay  for future expenditure determined by a maintenance, repair and replacement plan, which  the body corporate is required to draw up. In simple terms, the reserve fund must not have less than 25% of the total contributions  to the administrative fund for that year. The law makes it compulsory for all community schemes to take out fidelity insurance  against the risk of money being lost as a result of fraud of dishonesty.  The above is an extract of the new law and if you wish to make a more in depth study of  this Act you can Google The Community Schemes Ombud Service Act, No 9 of 2011 (Act). 
Contact Details: PO Box 6235 Westgate 1734, Republic of South Africa. Phone +27 011 760 1120. email ron@fairfields.co.za PLEASE SEE THE SPECIAL OFFERS UNDER HOT SPECIALS IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE OUR REGULAR SPECIALS & OUR NEWSLETTER PLEASE SEND US YOU DETAILS IN THE CONTACT FORM HERE OR ABOVE
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