Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Western Cape
I own a property that is part of a body corporate.
In 2019 the trustees called the annual meeting for all owners to attend, but it was postponed a week before the initial date that was set. So, unfortunately I could not attend the meeting based on the fact that it was postponed on such short notice. The meeting was held but I never received any kind of notification or minutes about the meeting. In this meeting it was apparently decided that the monthly levy would be increased by 27%, but I never received any notification of this increase. The trustees also do not send out any statements to the owners on a monthly basis, only once a year before the annual meeting. After the latest meeting that was held in October this year I received an email stating that I was in arrears with my levies and I was put to me that all owners that has an outstanding balance over 90 days would receive a letter of demand.
I then received a statement and saw that was just over R7000 in arrears and I calculated that R5000 is what I should pay to get up to date. On the statement I then saw for the first time that the levy was increased 14 months ago (after the 2109 meeting)I then asked the trustees to send me proof where I was sent any form of notification to indicate that the monthly levy was increased. Yesterday, after3 weeks they still could not sent me such proof, instead the new chairperson sent me a copy of an email where the previous chairperson send an email, 16 months ago, to her self-indicating the new monthly levy. It looks like a cover-up for a mistake
So, for the 16 months that I was not notified that the levy was increases, the outstanding amount totalled up to R1984. I received a letter of demand last week that I have to pay R7000 within the next 14 days to avoid further legal steps. I paid R5016 which according to my calculations is the outstanding amount.
So my questions on this:
Am I at all liable for the 16 months difference based on the fact that the trustee’s administration was poor and after the fact?
If have paid a big portion of the outstanding amount as stated in the letter of demand, so is the letter of demand then still valid?
If I am liable to pay that amount, what terms could I offer to pay it back?
There are other owners who are not aware of this yet, what impact could this have to those who also received a letter of demand?
Hope it make sense