Leading property management company Trafalgar has just launched a free online course for sectional title building managers and caretakers – the latest addition to a range of e-learning courses the company has been offering since last year as part of its mission to inform and empower those involved in running and managing community property schemes.
“There are already more than 35 000 residential sectional title developments in SA and more than 8600 residential estates with Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs),” notes Trafalgar MD Andrew Schaefer, “and community housing is growing much faster than any other residential property sector. This is evident from the fact that of the building plans passed in the first quarter of this year, 56% are for new sectional title flats and townhouses. (Get the latest building statistics from StatsSA at https://bit.ly/2RASe4G)
“This means that the homes and property investments of many thousands of South Africans are in the hands of the sectional title trustees and HOA directors, who are responsible for managing budgets, levies and insurance matters as well as the daily security, cleaning and maintenance issues that arise in community schemes, and on top of that are expected to ensure a harmonious living environment through the effective application of management and conduct rules.”
However, the majority of trustees and directors are property “amateurs” who often just get elected at an Annual General Meeting because they are the community-minded individuals who are willing to work – without compensation – for the benefit of their scheme, he says. “They generally have very little previous exposure to any of the role expectations, applicable legal frameworks and practicalities of being a trustee or director – and often receive more criticism than encouragement in return for volunteering a great deal of their personal time.
“And the same can be said of most caretakers and building managers, who are responsible for the day-to-day operations as decided by the trustees or directors, but are often also the first point of contact for residents and owners with queries and complaints.”
Schaefer says this is clearly a risky situation, which is why Trafalgar has made it a priority to provide free e-learning opportunities for trustees, directors and caretakers to obtain the information and knowledge they need to fulfil their roles confidently, effectively and in compliance with all current legal and governance requirements.
“Our first course launched last year was Sectional Title for Trustees, and more than 1100 trustees have already enrolled for this course, which we believe will do much to raise the level of professionalism in our sector while also addressing the legal requirement for trustees to educate themselves about what is required of them.*
“We have since also developed an online training course for HOA directors and a basic course for sectional title owners, as well as the new course for sectional title building managers and caretakers, all of which can be accessed via our website at https://training.trafalgar.co.za/courses/.”
A course for HOA estate managers is currently in development, he says, and for the past few months Trafalgar has also been running a series of public webinars on various community housing scheme issues. These can be accessed at https://training.trafalgar.co.za/webinars-1/ or on YouTube.
*Regulation 14 of the Community Schemes Ombud Services Act stipulates that the executives of community schemes (trustees and directors) must take reasonable steps to educate themselves about their schemes, their affairs and activities and the legislation and governance documentation in terms of which the scheme operates.
Issued by the Trafalgar Property Group
For more information contact
Andrew Schaefer on 011 214 5200
Or visit www.trafalgar.co.za
Trafalgar currently has more than 86 000 residential properties worth more than R80-billion under management in more than 1400 community housing schemes around SA.