OUTSTANDING LEVIES: PROCEDURE FOR COLLECTION

Dear Residents

Over the past few months, we have had occasional questions from homeowners and tenants around the payment process and follow up on outstanding levies and would like to use this opportunity to share some insights of the processes in place.

We would like to thank all account holders who settle their levies timeously.  As in all businesses, it facilitates the smooth running of the estate and frees up time-consuming debt collection.  Thank You!

As with all community schemes, owners are invoiced levies to cover monthly creditor payments related to the financial, administration and facility management of Dainfern. The annual levy budget is presented and approved by the members at a Special General Meeting convened to review and approve the budget which gives a detailed breakdown of all the costs covered by the monthly levies.

To maintain Dainfern at an acceptable standard, prompt and consistent payment of monthly creditors is necessary and expected by our service providers to maintain service continuity. This, in turn, necessitates the prompt and consistent payment of levies in full, and by no later than the 1st of the month. Owners who do not pay their levies in full and on time are relying on fellow homeowners to subsidise them which is extremely unfair. The most successful estates that consistently deliver high returns achieve a culture of paying levies promptly and consistently with minimal arrears.

Dainfern’s levy arrears of R1 798 817.43, amount to 46{debd3355e1fc9efe77f38dee6206ecb8f131d252e8a26859783021820517b85c} of monthly levy charges raised. Over 200 levy accounts (19{debd3355e1fc9efe77f38dee6206ecb8f131d252e8a26859783021820517b85c} of owners) are in arrears at the end of September 2017. 64{debd3355e1fc9efe77f38dee6206ecb8f131d252e8a26859783021820517b85c} of the total arrears is attributable to 11 owners, all of which are being pursued legally. We have a policy of handing over levy accounts for collection when the arrears are 3 months or more in arrears with monthly contributions. These owners will be blacklisted with the major credit bureaus and access to facilities such as the clubhouse will be restricted. In addition, access to Dainfern will be restricted to the visitor lanes where levy arrears exceed 2 month’s levy contributions.

Trafalgar, as Dainfern’s managing agent, is mandated to invoice and collect monthly levies, including taking all necessary legal action. Trafalgar is registered with the Council for Debt Collectors (“CDC”) (Registration number: CK89/03678/07) as required by the Debt Collector’s Act due to collecting a third-party debt. The CDC (www.cfdc.org.za) is the prescribed regulatory body for debt collectors and related services, and enforces a Code of Conduct and standard debt collection fee structure, together with providing a dispute resolution channel for consumer complaints regarding debt collectors’ conduct and charges.

The standard debt collection process applied by Trafalgar and aligned to the CDC Annexure B debt collection fee structure comprises the following activities with related debt collection fees to be found on the aforementioned website:

  • Sms and letter reminders are sent on the 4th working day of the month to all owners who have effected partial payment of their accounts
  • Sms and letter reminders are sent on the 8th working day of the month to all owners who have not yet effected payment of their levies but owe one month’s contribution
  • Sms and letter demands are sent on the 15th of the month to all owners who owe two months and more worth of contributions advising them of an imminent handover and blacklisting
  • On the 25th of the month, a letter and SMS is sent to all owners already handed over explaining that current charges must be paid and continued non-payment will result in multiple judgments
  • Calls are made throughout the month the timing of which is based largely on risk profile. Owners who owe 3 months or more worth of levies are called in week 1, with current and partial payment arrears called week 2. Two months and more is called in week 3 with handovers and other miscellaneous accounts called in the last week of the month.

It is very important to emphasise that owners with queries or who are experiencing difficulties of any kind with paying their monthly levy accounts, should make contact with the account administrator identified on the top right of the levy statement, as soon as possible to resolve the query or make a payment arrangement.



2 thoughts on “OUTSTANDING LEVIES: PROCEDURE FOR COLLECTION”

  • Trafalgar are particularly difficult to deal with.
    As agents they are probably the worst we have experienced in all the estate management companies we have dealt with, including office parks.
    We are homeowners in several other estates and the smaller estates even get better service.
    The process explained above is certainly not followed in my case. I had to beg and plead with several calls over a few months to just get an invoice. On top of this I was charged for late payment (on the 3rd) and collection fees of a few Rand because I didn’t know the amount had gone up (with no statements)
    It took me another few months to resolve it.
    Charging late penalties from the 1st is very picky, for an account as large as Dainfern, surely we could have got a better deal and at least give homeowners until 3rd to pay levies, as they do in other estates, equally well maintained if not better.
    Taking into consideration that a large portion of homeowners are self employed and not on a 25th of the month payroll salary earners.
    Many have to get income in from clients around 30/31st.
    They certainly do not call as assumed above.
    It took me forever to get some details and then I was dealt with in a very disrespectful manner.
    Whoever negotiated the deal with Trafalgar certainly didn’t do a very good one.

    • Levies are a fixed amount why do you need an invoice? You should place a payment order with your bank that you check regularly. It is your job to pay your bills in full as does everyone else. Your comments about being self employed is irrelevant. Bills have to be paid regardless. It is surely not an excuse to be unable to manage your monthly cash flow – this is the first duty of the self employed. You were probably dealt with in a business like manner as with any debt collection. It is no one’s responsibility but your own that you became a financial risk to yourself and your commitments. Sounds like you cannot afford to live in Dainfern and should move to one of your other favoured estates that meet your needs for assistance with your finances.

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