Residents living within a sectional title scheme might wonder how their Body Corporate can resolve problems that can arise within a settlement.
For instance, the letting agent has removed the entrance door of the unit, seeing that the tenant has defaulted on his rental payments. This foul and intimidating tactic have become a practice to ensure prompt payment.
They are remedies that are available to the Body Corporate and the defaulting tenant with reference to the conduct of the letting agent. The conduct of the letting agent is defined has spoliation.
According to a property agent, “The common boundary between any section and another section or common property shall be the median line of the dividing floor, wall or ceiling.
Hence half of the entrance door that was removed by the letting agent is common property. The letting agent has not only deprived the tenant of an entrance door but the Body Corporate as well.”
A property attorney comments, “I would recommend that the Body Corporate and the tenant alternatively, the registered owner of the unit to proceed with a spoliation application against the letting agent.
The conduct of the letting agent is unlawful and the remedy of a spoliation application is a reasonable move to take.”
He also added, “The protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011 (the Act) came into operation 3 years ago in 2013 offers an effective, simple inexpensive civil remedy to victims of harassment. It is an invaluable instrument for the protection of a victim’s rights to privacy and dignity.”
A victim of any harassment can rely on this act as it is broad and includes any conduct that causes mental, psychological or economic harm to a victim. Conduct that includes pursuing or watching a person is included in the act specifically.
A victim can, therefore, approach the magistrate and apply for an interim protection order against the perpetrator. If the court finds that the harassment has truly taken place a court must grant a protection order.
If the perpetrator appears on the return date and opposes the issuing of the protection order. After the hearing, if the court finds that the respondent has engaged or is engaging in harassment a protection order must be issued.
A local property agent noted, “With regards to boundary walls and fences, as a land owner you have the power to use, alter, destroy or sell your property in any way that you please within the state and local authority regulations provided. You do not interfere with your neighbor’s rights.”
According to the property agent, boundaries within your property mark where your rights begin and end. If any dispute occurs, the first recommendation is to check your title deeds of your property. For instance, if a branch of a tree growing next-door overhangs your property.
You can request your neighbor to cut the branches off. If your neighbor refuses your request, you have the rights to cut the hanging tree branches. You can also proceed to recover the expense of removing the branches.
The property attorney comments, “I would like to urge victims within a sectional title scheme to find out their rights and to make use of laws that are relevant to them. Make use of the law. Do not leave a situation to escalate to a point where the damage is irreparable. If you do not know what to do, contact your property manager or agent to help you