Written for YourProperty
A reader has asked the Property Poser experts to assist with a matter involving an uncooperative managing agent who was appointed by the trustees to oversee the sectional title complex in which she resides.
The resident explains that the complex is riddled with issues that seem to be the result of poor maintenance, inadequate waterproofing and poor drainage.
As a result, carports are rusting, brick paving is bulging, buildings are cracking and roofs are leaking.
The exasperated reader now wishes to correspond with the trustees of the complex and the other owners to notify them of the poor financial management by the trustees.
To this end, she asked the managing agent for their contact details.
The managing agent has provided her with names and the unit numbers of the persons involved but refuses to provide any further information.
Although the trustees’ meetings would be the place to raise such issues, the reader appears to want to take a different approach and correspond in writing with those concerned, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town.
“She has done some research of her own regarding her legal rights and discovered that the Sectional Titles Act provides for the managing agent to furnish the names and addresses of the trustees and owners in a scheme.”
Van der Merwe says the reader also mentions that the Promotion of Access to Information Act could be utilised to access the information she requires.
“It would appear that the managing agent has complied, in a technical sense, with his duty to supply the names and addresses.”
His refusal to supply e-mail and postal addresses is not a transgression of the Sectional Titles Act, says Van der Merwe.
“The Promotion of Access to Information Act sets out several principles and methods that apply to the manner in which one can set about gathering information.”
In utilising this legislation, the reader could approach the managing agent and request a copy of their “manual” under the Act, says Van der Merwe.
Grant Hill of Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys in Somerset West says this document should contain the person responsible for the assessment of requests for information, what information is generally available and what is to be accessed in a stricter fashion, typically on application.
“Our reader could attempt to motivate her further requirements and lodge her request accordingly. The manual will also advise what she can do if her request is denied.”
Hill says a further piece of legislation that could also become applicable in due course is the Protection of Personal Information Act, which was signed into law towards the end of 2013.
“This legislation impacts on the Promotion of Access to Information Act in that personal information is supplied only in the manner permitted by the newer legislation.”
However, it must still be in accordance with the procedure set out in the Promotion of Access to Information Act, says Hill.
“Where the information is refused by the institution accountable for it, the Information Regulator under the new Act could be approached for assistance.”
When applicable, he or she could provide the reader with a greater chance at sourcing the information she requires, says Hill.
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On behalf of:
Rawson Properties Helderberg & Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys