Property 24/10 - 329

Limit on proxies a nightmare for sectional title schemes
Under the old sectional titles Act an owner was allowed to give a proxy to anyone that he or she pleased. Proxies were very helpful in being able to hold general meetings, and especially AGMs, and without which many of these meetings would never have had a quorum.

“It would seem that the powers that be were persuaded that some people, and especially some chairmen, used proxies as a way to keep control over their buildings or to have decisions go their way,” says Mike Spencer of Platinum Global.

“The Sectional Titles Management Act has introduced the concept of limiting any one person to holding a maximum of two proxies, and this is going to have to be reviewed for a number of reasons.”

Common pitfalls to avoid when valuing commercial property
For some firms, being awarded an instruction to value a property or portfolio of real estate assets is often not given sufficient regard.

“While new business is always welcome, new business is not necessarily ‘good’ business if insufficient attention is paid to actual qualification and competence, and this puts any valuer in a potentially risky situation,” says TC Chetty, country manager for South Africa for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

“When cash flow is tight, there may be pressure to accept any valuation instruction, which may lead to firms accepting instructions where they are unable to demonstrate detailed sector knowledge or where they don’t have the correct specialist skills.”

Government: Land reform fraudsters to be prosecuted
Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, says government will deal harshly with those found to be involved in corrupt practices across various land reform programmes.

The Minister said this when he officially received a list of State farms that have been recovered by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Here's why you should get a prequalification
The prospect of buying a home for the first time brings a mixture of excitement and anxiety. The long hours of trawling property websites and newspaper supplements in search of your dream home are coupled with the angst over establishing what price range suits your pocket.

“The latter can be the most daunting, especially for buyers who are unsure of what they can afford and what steps they need to take to determine their options,” says Misty Kesting, an estate agent at Knight Frank Residential South Africa specialising in the Claremont, Rondebosch, Rosebank and Newlands areas,

“This is why buyers should be prequalified before they begin house hunting.”

The farms were recovered following investigations by the SIU and the Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) on State properties in KwaZulu-Natal.

New audit requirements for sectional title schemes explained
In the past, where the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 rules and regulations were in force, it was only those sectional title schemes with ten units or more that had to have their schemes audited.

If there were fewer than ten units, the financial statements could be signed off by an auditor or accounting officer, and the choice was left to the body corporate as to which to employ.

Now that the new Sectional Title Schemes Management Act is in force, however, replacing the old, all sectional title schemes - no matter the size - must have their financial records audited each year, and these must be presented at the Annual General Meeting, which should be held within four months of the end of the financial year, says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.

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