Sectional titles schemes are mini democracies, run by elected executives who themselves often delegate some or many of their functions to managing agents.
This is particularly so in larger schemes where the day-to-day physical, administrative and particularly financial management of the scheme is best left to experts in community scheme management. Smaller schemes may also choose to spend the money on a managing agent, particularly when the trustees are employed elsewhere full-time and busy with their own affairs.
One of the main issues in choosing a managing agent these days is the question of finding suitable candidates with an established track record of integrity and reliable references. However, there is a range of other, more common problems that can be addressed by careful selection of a managing agent. As with most service providers, word of mouth is a good place to start. It will require a bit of homework.
Checklist for selecting a good managing agent
Once you have chosen a suitable managing agent, the most important thing is to make sure that the contract specifies exactly what you want them to do, and exactly what discretion they have in the management of your scheme. Prescribed management rules 46 and 47 also stipulate some of the required terms of the contract.
The managing agency industry is very competitive, with agencies trying hard to provide good service at reasonable rates to retain their contracts. The good ones will readily supply the information you need to assess their suitability. They will also tell you what formal training the person who will deal with your scheme has undergone. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of their service, make sure you let them know in a constructive way. If things don’t improve, remember you are free to give them notice that you will not be renewing the contract at the end of its annual term.
Anton Kelly is the course instructor of the University of Cape Town (Law@Work) Sectional Title Scheme Management short course. Next course starts, 18 June 2013. For more information please contact Emma on 021 447 4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit www.Paddocks.co.za for more information.
Another item on the check list should be to check whether the Managing Agent is registered as a Debt Collector - a definite requirement if the Managing Agent is collecting any 3rd party money (including current and arrear levies).