I have recently taken occupation of an apartment in a new development which is still not registered in my name. Please can you answer the following questions: 1. When must the body corporate be established? 2. Will the developer always be a member of the body corporate? 3. How do we ensure that all outstanding rates due will be paid by the developer?
A body corporate is established for a sectional title scheme with effect from the date on which any person other than the developer becomes an owner of any unit in the scheme. This means that once the unit is registered in your name you will automatically become a member of the body corporate. The developer ceases to be a member when he no longer owns a unit in the scheme.
Not later than 60 days after the establishment of the body corporate the developer must convene a meeting of its members at which he must furnish them with a copy of the sectional plan as well as a certificate from the local authority to the effect that all rates due by him up to the date of establishment of the body corporate have been paid. He must also provide proof of revenue and expenditure concerning the management of the scheme from the date of the first occupation of any unit up to the date of the establishment of the body corporate and pay any residue over to the body corporate.
I strongly advise that the body corporate appoints a reputable managing agent to control and manage the scheme and invites the managing agent to attend the first meeting convened by the developer.