Dispute Resolution - Use this free form to file a complaint with your body corporate
Did you know that the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act contains a prescribed complaint form under annexure 4 which is intended to be used by owners and occupiers to notify their body corporate of any complaints which they may have in relation to their scheme?
The form consists of two parts. The first part of the form, annexure 4.1, can be used by complainants to provide the trustees with details of the person that they are making the complaint against, a description of the complaint and details of how they would like the problem to be solved. The second part of the form, annexure 4.2, can be used by the trustees to provide the parties involved in the complaint with the findings of the internal dispute resolution meeting and reasons for the decision taken by the trustees.
Although this complaint form is prescribed in terms of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, it is important to note that the Act does not prescribe a procedure to be followed by schemes to deal with complaints. In order to maximise the effectiveness of the complaint form, we recommend using this form in conjunction with a customised management or conduct rule aimed at regulating the scheme’s internal complaints procedure. This rule should address the following aspects:
- Complainants should be required to complete and return the prescribed complaint form to the managing agent or the trustees;
- An internal dispute resolution meeting between the parties involved should be called by the trustees as soon as possible.
- The trustees should facilitate the meeting in an attempt to find resolution to the matters contained in the complaint form.
- The trustees should record any decisions taken on the decision form which must be circulated to the parties involved in the complaint as soon as possible after the internal dispute resolution meeting.
- If any party to the dispute is not satisfied with the trustees’ decision, as contained in the decision form, that party can make an application to the Community Schemes Ombud Service for further assistance.
Community scheme living is complicated at the best of times and in our experience, a failure to prescribe a clear and simple internal dispute resolution procedure only aggravates the situation. Following our proposed complaint procedure should ensure that all complaints are dealt with in a consistent and timely manner and should help to reduce animosity in your scheme.
Please click here if you would like to download our editable version of the prescribed complaint form and record of decision form
Courtesy: The Advisory/Marketing Department
ABOUT THE ADVISORY:
The Advisory is a specialist community schemes law firm that has developed a range of services to cater for all of the legal needs of anyone involved in sectional title schemes, home owners’ associations and other forms of community schemes.
Specialist Community Scheme Attorney (LLB, LLM), Auren Freitas dos Santos, is a Director of The Advisory, a boutique consultancy specialising exclusively in community schemes law.
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