The Community Schemes Ombud Service Act 9 of 2011 aims:
- To provide for the establishment of the Community Schemes Ombud Service;
- To provide for its mandate and functions; and
- To provide for a dispute resolution mechanism in community schemes; and
- To provide for matters connected therewith.
One of the purposes of the Act is to provide for a dispute resolution mechanism in the context of community schemes that is cost-effective and efficient, and which does not require consumers to engage in legal representation or draw on scarce judicial resources.
In short, it provides for the establishment of a body to be known as the “Community Schemes Ombud Service”. The Ombud is responsible for receiving and processing “applications” by members of community schemes seeking relief pertaining to their particular scheme. Importantly, the Ombud is empowered to grant relief in relation to occupiers in a scheme, not just owners, and will therefore also be of benefit to both tenants and landlords.
The types of relief that may be applied for are divided into seven categories, namely:
- Financial issues.
- Behavioural issues.
- Scheme governance issues.
- Management services.
- Works pertaining to private areas and common areas.
- General and other issues.