Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Domicilium citandi et executandi


By Anton Kelly

Wikipedia gives the literal translation of this Latin term as, “house for summoning and upkeep”. The common translation in South Africa is, “service address”. A property owner’s service address does not necessarily mean the address to which the plumber must come to replace their burst geyser, or the address the municipality uses to send the rates and water bill. A person’s service address is the address used by the Sheriff of the Court when delivering legal notices such as a summons, warrants and other notices of application from the court. These documents must be served personally, which is normally why a person’s service address can’t be a post box.

In sectional title schemes, both the body corporate and the individual owners in the schemes must have a service address. The service address of the body corporate, determined from time to time by the body corporate, is usually a physical address, either a section in the scheme, the address of the managing agent, or another physical address that is in the magisterial district of the scheme. The trustees have the discretion to designate a fax number, email address or other address as the body corporate service address.

An owner’s default service address is the address of the section that they own but he or she can change it by written notice to the body corporate to another physical, postal or fax address in South Africa or to an email address. However, the body corporate is obliged to deliver the notice of a meeting at which a special or unanimous resolution is to be considered to a physical or postal address in south Africa, so owners who live overseas need to arrange that address for that purpose.

The body corporate is obliged to keep a record of members which includes their addresses. It’s worth noting that various people are entitled to inspect these records – the other owners in the scheme, the registered mortgagees and any person so authorised by a member or registered bondholder. The body corporate must also make these addresses available to any person who makes a reasonable request for them.

Owners who do not occupy the sections they own do sometimes forget to inform the body corporate of a new service address. This can lead to problems because the service address is used for delivering levy statements, notices, special or unanimous resolutions taken in writing, and, perhaps, fines.

It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure the body corporate always has their current service address.

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