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I am Shirley Baillie, who has lived in and owned, sectional title for more than half my life. But in my next life, I will certainly not choose sectional title for my place of residence or my main focus for investment UNLESS I am able to take with me all the experience and knowledge that I gained in the last 35+ years…Never do I wish to have to “pay my school fees” over again, and that is why I am passionate about empowering those who live in, or work with, sectional title so that I can ensure that they have an easier journey than I did.
Whether you are selling, investing, working with, or living in ST, it makes life easier to know at least the basics of how it works, know the rules, your rights, responsibilities and duties!
My aim is to empower you through knowledge in the easiest possible way, based on my journey through my 38 years of living in and working with sectional title. It was not without its challenges and I learned a great deal which I can pass on to others.
I purchased my first ST unit in 1983. I had no clue what this involved and went like a lamb to slaughter… I did not understand there were rules, or owner’s rights or duties and I did not know for what I was paying a levy every month. I believed the man who lived down the passage, (the Chairman) was akin to my headmaster at school- to be avoided at all costs and so I tiptoed passed his flat!
This is how many people in 2021 still think, as they don’t know any better and may allow themselves to be bullied by an autocratic trustee. Others don’t believe the rules apply to them and cause unsatisfactory living conditions for fellow owners and occupants. Some buy in the belief that they have done their part by paying for their property and don’t pay their levies. This lack of awareness and understanding creates discontent, financial issues, and frustration, often leading to litigation and a toxic living environment.
During my time as a trustee, owner, estate agent, trainer, and trader in the sectional title market, as well as management of my own property portfolio, I have seen it all and learned a great deal. The mushrooming of new developments has created a shortage of skilled and knowledgeable managing agency staff and estate agents, “white-collar” crime has skyrocketed, and the emerging buyer’s market comes with no knowledge of what they are buying into. All is creating a very unsatisfactory state of affairs for ST owners.
Most owners of apartments buy with enthusiasm, but not with knowledge – yet they are going to have to pay off their bond for 20 years…or more. It is therefore imperative that the owners have knowledge of how their investment is being managed by the trustees that they elect to do this, and by the Managing Agent to whom much of the Body Corporate work is delegated,
There is no entry level qualifying exam for people to become trustees, and many working in managing agencies are without formal training and with a varied understanding or knowledge of the sectional title legislation, which is there to protect all owners if it is applied correctly.
To help you know and understand more, I offer individualised and small groups basic training providing a general overview and understanding of sectional title, three useful publications, and my manual Keyword Access to the Sectional Title Legislation. This is easy to use and allows anyone, no matter that they have no education in law, to access whatever they need to know in the ST legislation in approximately 60 seconds.
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