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CaseLaw
CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1592
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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Here goes my situation which I would appreciate your legal

Customer Question

Good day,Here goes my situation which I would appreciate your legal opinion on. I bought a property in 2010 at an estate which was regarded as a failed estate. At the time there were about 10 houses (including my house) in about 80+ stands estate. We were paying levies in a region of about R500, however the estate was badly managed that almost all the houses including newly built houses were burgled and things like TVs were stolen. When we probed more on estate manager, we realized that the money was mismanaged and there was no accountability from him.Majority of the residence decided not to continue paying levies, and the estate started growing in number of houses being built and occupied. There was then a decision to reorganize ourselves and make sure things are well structured. We eventually took a service of a professional property management company. I was not part of the meeting and couple of things we discussed in that meeting, including adjustments of levies etc.I started receiving wrong statements on my email which I then query with the consultant assigned to our estate. For some reason she said my email address was rejected by their system and I gave her my alternative email. I asked to provide me with all the previous statement to make sure I can settle the outstanding amount. I sent her a reminder couple of days to request my statement which she ignored my email. To my surprise, couple of days later on I receive a letter of demand from a particular law firm with my statement attached. I launched a dispute with them on the basis of irrationality of the costs on my statement (interest, collection fees etc.) and the timing of the legal action.I then raised my concern at the AGM about my experience and then everyone attest to the same experience including the HOA directors at the time. Below were things people agreed to in the meeting (around Nov 2016):
1. Put aside the old debt (outstanding levies before the new HOA)
2. Recalculate the statements based on new HOA
3. Pursue alternative measures to deal with the old debtTo my surprise the Sheriff (2 x guys) came to my house last week Wednesday (30 Aug 2017) and threaten my daughter (12) and our maid who was 2 days in a job to open the door. They started walking around the house noting the items in my house and assigning their own value. None of us (myself and wife) were in the house at the time. They asked our maid her surname and then left some documents on the table. They also told them that they are coming tomorrow to take the furniture.When I got home, only to realise that there is court judgment with our name on it together with an inventory with the list of my total furniture way less than the average cost on the items in the list. I decided to wait for the court or sheriff to inform me of their visit etc., and also made myself available as the told my daughter they are coming tomorrow.Yesterday (06 Sep 2017), I then received a letter from a law firm titled "GOODS ATTACHED FOR SALE IN EXECUTION: abc HOA/Mr. X" with two attachments (statement of account and notes from the sheriff). Furthermore the content also mention to "inform me that the sheriff judicially attached your movable goods on 30 August 2017. Our instructions are to proceed with the removal and sale in execution should we not receive payment in the amount if RX (capital, interest and legal fees) on or before 18 Sep 2017." What is astonishing is the factually incorrect content of the notes and cost coming from the sheriff, which included locksmith cost of about R400.I have also referred back to my credit score and notice that the judgement was made in September 2016 against my name which does not correspond to the decision taken at the AGM.I have since informed the consultant responsible for our estate yesterday and I have not heard from her since. I am not a legal person but in the absence of any other information, I am left to speculate the following:
1. The property management company guarantees monthly levies to the HOA;
2. They use all means possible including bypassing legal process (standing to be corrected)in order to recuperate the guarantees from the residence;
3. Because they have set list of service providers which are standing to benefit from this process - the best interest of the residence in compromised.I would like to be guided on the process and if my concerns around the process is justifiable. My apologies again for such a long text, but thought it will give you a background.Kind regards,
SP
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Knowitalll replied 1 month ago.

I don't think you are in the USA are you. Where is all this going on at?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi,I am in Johannesburg, South Africa.Regards
Expert:  Knowitalll replied 1 month ago.

I will have your question transferred to the appropriate group.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 month ago.

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your initial question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

The first step is to find out more information about the judgment which they allegedly got against you. Which court? When was the summons served on you? Proof of service? etc. They might have obtained the judgment fraudulently. So make enquiries.

Second:- you need to contact the "plaintiff" of the summons. If the plaintiff is the HOA, then you need to get a letter from the HOA to the attorneys INSTRUCTING the attorneys (in writing) that they must take NO further steps in this matter and that they must apply for the rescission of the judgment.

Third:- you need to get the HOA to get rid of the property management company. They obviously don't know what they are doing and are doing their own thing on behalf of the HOA. They seem to be the problem, and should go!

Fourth:- if you have the financial means, PAY the judgment debt. Borrow the money if you can. Paying the full judgment debt will bring a swift end to this process. You can then figure out what happened. Also, all of the money will go to the HOA, so you can always get it back from them!

Is there any other concern or question?

If my answer hasn't provided you with enough clarity regarding your initial question, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - don't just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,

CaseLaw