select
|

Are trustees allowed to cut electricity supply?

In many sectional title schemes there is an ongoing problem of short payment or non-payment of levies, and it sometimes happens that the trustees decide to take matters into their own hands by disconnecting the electricity supply to the unit inhabited by the non-payer.

This, however, is illegal if they have done so without a court order authorising this, says Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company IHFM.

In South Africa, legislation is clear in that shutting off services such as electricity without a statutory right to do so is an offence.

The supply of electricity is governed by the Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 and section 22 deals with the powers of the licensee. Only the holder of the license which is granted by the Regulator is allowed to disconnect the electricity supply to a unit - and this must be for non-payment of the electricity, not for any other outstanding amounts, said Bauer.

Only bulk suppliers of electricity such as Eskom or a subsidiary such as City Power or the local suppliers can disconnect the electricity supply after notice is given to the resident but because bodies corporate or trustees are not the licensee or the distributor, they cannot cut the supply to any section.

Trustees have to deal with the non-payment of levies as provided in the Sectional Titles Act, which in sections 37 (2) and (2A), states that the body corporate can deal with the non-paying owner in the magistrates or High Court.

Bodies corporate do, however, sometimes take the law into their own hands by cutting off the electricity supply because they see this an effective and quick way of dealing with the situation, said Bauer, and in most cases get away with it because the owner will most likely not have the financial means to take them to court.

The recourse owners will have in future if they find themselves situations such as these will be to go to the Community Schemes Ombud, who will be able to assist those who do not have lawyers and cannot afford expensive court fees.

"The key is, however, for owners to pay their levies in full, which would alleviate the stress trustees have to go through in managing and juggling funds when they do not receive payments. Withholding levy payments puts the scheme in a precarious financial position and trustees often have the arduous task of sorting out collections of funds way after they are due," said Bauer.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK