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What the body Corporate is NOT responsible for!
RodneyHayter.com - South Africa
As managing agents we are often asked to get involved in things that are nothing to do with the managing agent's functions or the Trustee's duties. We do try to help where we can but owners must realise that not every problem has anything to do with the buildings management. Here are some examples;

Hot water systems. Owners are responsible for looking after their own hot water systems including the geyser, pressure values, thermostats, etc even if these are situated outside the unit (usually in a shaft). If a geyser or its fittings are shared by more than one unit then those units must share the cost of the repairs between them. It is neither the Trustees nor managing agent's responsibility to organise these repairs or call out the plumber, not should they pay the plumbers account. If they are asked to do so by the unit owners they would be entitled to charge for the time and effort involved.

Low rates won't boost building
Fin24.co.za - South Africa
Johannesburg - The decline in building plans in January occurred across the board, and a major recovery is not foreseen over the course of this year despite lower interest rates.

It is unlikely that interest rates will decline significantly enough to see building plans move into positive territory any time soon. Even with lower interest rates, it is likely to take time before there is any increase in the desire to undertake new residential building projects.
Business Day

Solicitors to take on estate agents
The Times - UK
Solicitors have declared war on estate agents. They are calling for a licensing system to bring them under strict regulation and for greater transparency over what they call excessive fees.

Paul Marsh, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, which represents 100,000 solicitors, says that taken with stamp duty, estate agents' fees account for the lion's share of the costs of a house sale - dwarfing solicitors' fees from the same transaction.

"I understand that they operate in a feast-or-famine business and have to set aside funds for the lean times," he told The Times. "But after years of a bull run, their earnings have been quite disproportionate to the cost of everything else in society, whether a loaf of bread, cars or holiday."
The Times

Law Society welcomes probe into home buying process
Birmingham Post - UK
The Law Society has welcomed an announcement by the Office of Fair Trading that it will be launching an investigation into the process of home buying.

The OFT announced last week that it would be carrying out a study into the role of estate agents and the steps people had to go through in buying a home during the hardest financial times in living memory.

Paul Marsh, the president of the Law Society, said: "A detailed review which includes consideration of the lack of transparency around the role, responsibilities and payment of estate agents is desperately needed.
Birmingham Post

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