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CSOS

How to lodge a CSOS application successfully: 7 Critical questions answered

The Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) was established in terms of the Community Schemes Service Act 9 of 2011 to regulate the conduct of parties within community schemes and to ensure their good governance.

When an owner or occupier has a dispute relating to the administration of that scheme, they are able to approach CSOS for assistance to resolve such dispute.

Not many owners know and understand when to lodge a dispute with CSOS and here are points to lodge a successful dispute application with CSOS.

Here are 7 critical questions (and answers) on how to lodge an application with CSOS successfully:

 

What legislation governs CSOS applications?

  • Community Schemes Ombud Service Act No. 9 of 2022.

 

Who are the CSOS Adjudicators?

  • All adjudicators at CSOS are either attorneys or advocates.

 

Who can make an application?

  • Any person who is party or materially affected by the dispute, i.e. An occupant or tenant.
  • It is important to note that the Section 38(1) of the Act excludes an application to be made against the developer.

 

What must be included in the application?

  • It is important to clearly outline the relief you are seeking
  • Also detail the grounds on which you are seeking relief

 

What are the grounds of relief?

  • Section 39 divides the grounds of relief into 7 categories: namely:
    1. Financial
      • Arrear levies.
      • Audit the financial statements of the scheme if this has not been audited.
    2. Behavioral
      • Requiring a person to refrain from causing a nuisance.
      • Removal of animal being kept in scheme in contravention of conduct rules.
    3. Scheme governance meetings
      • Requiring scheme to approve and record new scheme governance provision.
      • Requiring scheme to call a general meeting to discuss specified matters.
    4. Management Services
      • Where managing agent needs comply with terms of contract
    5. Works pertaining to private and common areas
      • Requiring scheme to attend to repairs and maintenance issues
      • Refusal to grant owner certain rights over certain parts of common area
    6. General and other issues
      • Wrongfully denied access to information
      • Disconnection of water, electricity at unit
    7. Section 39(7)(b) makes provision for grounds not listed in Section 39 of the Act

 

What does the process of application involve?

  • The application for dispute resolution can be found on the CSOS website.
  • The application can be completed online and sent along with accompanying documentation to CSOS.
  • You can also write and submit an application separately with supporting documentation.

 

 Why applications get rejected?

  • Applicant does not transmit response to Ombud within 14 days to proceed with application.
  • Application is misconceived or without substance.

 

Author: Danielle Crewe, Senior Property Manager (Sectional Title)