The Body Corporate switched off a client’s electricity, because he fell into arrears with his levies. He asked me what steps he could take to have his electricity switched back on.
I advised: I would suggest that you have a look at the conduct rules of your body corporate. I would be most surprised if they allow the trustees to have acted in the way they have done.
If the conduct rules don’t allow the trustees to cut off your electricity, you have two options. The first is to pay the amount that they claim, under protest, and then refer the dispute to the ombudsman:
The Sectional Title Ombudsman
1st Floor Building A, 63 Wierda Road East, Wierda Valley, Sandton
T: +27 (010) 593 0533 │F: +27 (010) 590 6154 │
This is a very recently appointed office and I have no idea what kind of response you will receive or how long the process will take. However, it will not cost you anything but time and effort.
Your second option is to go to your closest Magistrate’s Court to see if they assist people in your position to obtain what is called a spoliation order (to restore the electricity on a basis of urgency). Some courts do assist, without charge. If they won’t, you will need to approach an attorney for help.
If you can’t afford one, get help from the law clinic at your local university, the Legal Aid Board or check out www.probono.org.za