Can I Withhold My Levy Payments?
PUBLISHED 7 NOV 2021
Are you in the middle of a dispute with your Body Corporate? You may be tempted to withhold levy payments until the issue is resolved but doing that is probably not a good idea from a legal point of view.
Leaks, property damage and failure to deliver services are some of the top reasons why tenants and property owners stop paying their Body Corporate dues. Let's take a look at what else you can do to get the issue resolved without facing legal consequences.
Do I really have to pay? Sadly, the law says yes.
As a sectional title tenant owner or tenant, you're obliged to pay levies in terms of the Sectional Titles Act.
This means that if you stop paying - no matter how good your reason is for doing so - you'll be liable for the debt in terms of the law. Your Body Corporate is entitled to take the following action against you in that situation:
Impose interest on the outstanding amount.
Pursue payment of the amount you owe - in fact the law actively requires them to do so.
Approach the courts or the CSOS (Communal Schemes Ombud Services) to obtain a payment order. This could be followed by summary judgment if you fail to pay.
How to resolve the dispute legally and effectively
By now you're probably thinking that withholding your levy payments isn't the greatest idea. But that doesn't mean that the Body Corporate gets off Scott free. There are several steps you can take to resolve your dispute.
Contact the Body Corporate and discuss the issue. In many cases they may be willing to shoulder part or all of the cost of the repairs and rectify their failure to deliver services.
Declare a dispute. If your first approach fails to deliver the desired result, you can declare a dispute in writing within 14 days and outline exactly what you'd like the Body Corporate to do to rectify it.
Explore arbitration can dispute resolution options. Both you and the Body Corporate are entitled to use the services of an arbitrator or dispute resolution expert to reach an amicable solution before the case goes to court.
Tired of sectional title living?
If dealing with the Body Corporate is just too much, it may be time to move to a property that gives you full control.
Find your freehold Cape Town home with us today. The Cape Realty team is on hand to help you find the ideal residential property in the Mother City.
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