Sable Hills Waterfront Estate v Sable Hills Waterfront Estate Home Owners’ Association (199/2016) 2016 ZASCA 170 (24 November 2016)
In this case the SCA dismissed an appeal by the developer of the Sable Hills Waterfront Estate against a judgment of the Gauteng Division, Pretoria of the High Court holding it liable to pay levies on each of the erven laid out and shown on the general plan of the estate, notwithstanding that they were not yet registered under separate title in the Deeds Registry.
The developer contended that it was the owner of a single property in the estate, namely, the remainder after certain sales of stands and units had taken place and been registered. As such it argued that in the apportionment of levies it should only pay a single levy in respect of that one property. The home owners’ association contended that it had to pay a levy in respect of each stand shown on the general plan.
The SCA held that the issue was to be determined on a proper interpretation of the articles of association of the home owners’ association under which the power to raise levies was given to the board of directors. The articles provided that levies should be apportioned equally between the owners of stands and units in the estate. The SCA held that having regard to the wording of the relevant article when viewed in context that meant that the levies had to be apportioned among the stands shown on the general plan and not the stands as they existed as separate entities registered in the Deeds Registry. Accordingly the appeal was dismissed with costs.