Why CSOS fees are worth it
Residents in community schemes are increasingly availing themselves of the dispute resolution service available from the Community Service Ombud Service (CSOS), CSOS fees are vastly cheaper than the courts
The latest results published by the CSOS during its fourth quarter from January to March 2018 show the total number of new applications rose from 818 during the previous quarter, to 1365, at the three regional offices. Of these, Gauteng accounted for 879 applications, KwaZulu-Natal 297 and the Western Cape, 189.
There were 564 finalised matters in Gauteng (64%), with 136 matters referred for adjudication. Completed adjudication matters numbered 94, and the remaining 42 are in various stages of awaiting adjudication.
In KwaZulu Natal, 74% (279) matters were finalised, with 83 referred for adjudication, of which 41 have been completed; and 42 matters are in various stages of awaiting adjudication.
There were 106 matters finalised in the Western Cape (56%), with 45 referred for adjudication. A total of 57 adjudications were completed, of which some have been carried over from the previous quarter. CSOS fees are going a long way.
Most complaints financial
Most of the Prayers for Relief received by the CSOS during the period were listed under Financial issues (773) with conflicts over private and common areas coming second with 187 complaints, behavioural issues third with 117. Complaints that were not clearly defined numbered 108.
Fewer complaints revolved around general and other issues (71), management services (45), governance issues (35) and meetings issues (20). See more detail on Prayers for Relief
CSOS Fees close cases. An example of a case closed:
The Applicant alleged as follows:
• That there was a delivery to be made to his unit, but the caretaker denied access for the goods to be delivered.
• That he later contacted the portfolio manager to intervene.
• That the portfolio manager later that day (16 November 2016), responded via email to explain that this was a misunderstanding and that the caretaker and the chairman denied the allegations.
• That later that day, he was sent a fine of R1500 for overcrowding of the parking bays.
• That he was he referred to the conduct rules and found that actual charge should have been R500 and not R1500
• That he disputed the fine charged and which was later reduced to R750.00.
• That he also enquired about the parking bay and was told that his unit does not have one and had to rent parking outside the building.
• That other tenants have multiple parking bays, yet he is placed on the waiting list.
• That he went to the Deeds Office to verify and found out that on the registered title scheme the parking bays (all) and the servants’ quarters are clearly marked as common property.
The settlement agreement:
• That the fine in the amount of R1500 together with interest will be removed from the applicant’s statement of account within 7 days of date hereof.
• That the board of trustees will furnish the CSOS with a copy of the waiting list for parking together with an explanation as to how parking bays are allocated within the scheme within 7 days of date hereof.
This is one of the many examples that show CSOS fees are worth it.