Smart Consumer: How you can manage your living rights
Published 30/09/2010 | 05:00
1. When you buy your apartment or house and receive your membership certificate, you legally become a member of the property management company.
This means it is not supposed to be a 'them and us' situation. When the new law comes into force, it will be mandatory to establish a management company.
2. Once you sign up to a management company agreement, remember that it is legally binding.
It sets out your rights in terms of what the company will do for you, but it also places an obligation on you to pay for the services it provides.
3. Under Company Law you are entitled to notification of the company's general meetings; participate and vote at the AGM; information on finances and auditors' reports, financial statements and a copy of the memorandum and articles of association.
4. If your maintenance fee is increased because some owners are not paying theirs, you're in a tricky situation.
The management company can write to that owner but if they don't pay up the last resort is taking legal action, which would probably mean spending that sinking fund.
5. If things are bad, think strength in unity. Start a residents' committee or call an extraordinary meeting of the management company to vote to try and take over, fire the agent or whatever it is you need to do.