WINDHOEK - The City of Windhoek (CoW) recently announced the implementation of the Sectional Title Act of 2009 that requires owners of sectional titles to submit title deeds and related documents to the city by no later than September 30, 2018. A recent advertisement by the CoW in local newspapers warned that “failure to provide the required information by the due date will result in levying the value of the land portion of the units equally amongst each unit”.
According to CoW spokesperson, Lydia Amutenya, the city has been faced with an issue of non-payment of rates and taxes by certain ratepayers in body corporates. “This situation of non-payment resulted in the disconnection of services to the whole property (sectional titles) affecting even clients who pay their bills on time. This situation resulted in the amendment of the Sectional title Act so that each unit is levied individually and bills are sent to clients directly as opposed to a bill being sent to a body corporate. This means, the city will from now on deal with clients individually when they do not pay their bills,” Amutenya explained.
She added that the new regulations should however not affect the amount that sectional title owners have to pay the city for rates and taxes. But, since the owners will now make these payments directly to the city, the monthly body corporate fees will have to be reduced by the same margin.
The implementation of the 2009 legislation has however drawn some criticism from body corporates, which are legal entities tasked with the management and maintenance of sectional titles such as housing complexes. One such entity, Eon Property Services cc, which is a managing agent for more than 110 bodies corporates and serves more than 4,000 members who must now supply the CoW with the required documents, wrote to the city at the end of August in a proposal to alleviate some of the administrative duties on owners.
“It is evident that you require the Title Deed for every member in order to identify that the member is the owner of the property. As the managing agent we hold comprehensive details of every registered owner. The details of the owners that we hold on record are received from lawyers that they collate from the Title Deed documents that the attorneys eventually lodge with the Deeds Office.
The details of the owner that are contained in the Title Deed are the same details supplied to us as the managing agent and that we hold on record,” read the letter from Eon in an appeal to waive the documentation requirement for its members.