What does a managing agent do?
Many South African’s enjoy the many benefits of complex living but one thing they seem not to enjoy is the head-ache of feeling as though their complex isn’t managed properly.
It’s very unfortunate that managing agents are viewed in a very negative light by home owners, some of the home owners’ concerns may be justified but it’s certainly unfair to expect things from managing agents it’s not their responsibility in the first place. As such it’s important to establish the roles and duties of the managing agent.
The short answer is that managing agents are to managing the complex on behalf of the trustees. The long answer involves a more complex explanation embedded in the prescribed management rules (PMRs), which are annexures to the regulations under the Sectional Title Act, 95 of 1986. The Act only makes provision for how the scheme interacts with the managing agent if one is appointed, and does not elaborate on what they should or shouldn’t do. For this reason the duties of the managing agent, lies in how details the contractual agreement between the scheme and the managing agent is. The duties of the managing agents are based on contracts in place and not legislation.
Having good managing agents for your complex (scheme) is seen as best practice because it allows the managing agent to act as a ‘middle-man’ guiding both the home owners and the trustees toward the Act, ensuring also that financial, administrative and secretarial issues of the scheme managed effectively. However these are all outlined in the contract, which is why it’s so important for the contract to be clear and very specific.
Reputable managing agents should be registered with the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB), this in itself will benefit the scheme immensely. Also when choosing a managing agent it’s imperative to the well-being of the scheme that contactable references is kept on record.
Although the trustees may appoint excellent managing agents to perform some or all their legislated tasks, they cannot delegate their responsibility and fiduciary duty in respect of those tasks.
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