Trafalgar News

Trafalgar News

Sectional title trustees urged: Get expert help to handle big projects  

Managing agents and project managers can play a vital role in helping sectional title trustees to successfully complete large maintenance or repair projects by providing various recommendations and types of support.

“The trustees of most sectional title schemes are not professional property or construction managers,” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of leading property management company Trafalgar, “but are often tasked in any case with running big projects such as the repainting of a whole complex, the installation of carports, the replacement of an elevator, the installation of a generator, solar power system or borehole, or the waterproofing of a whole apartment block roof.

“And of course the cost of such projects can run into hundreds of thousands if not millions of rands, so there is additional pressure on them to ensure that the work is done correctly, on time and on budget, and that the sectional title scheme remains well-maintained and attractive to potential buyers and tenants over the long term.”

To start with, managing agents can help trustees to develop and manage budgets for these large maintenance or repair projects and to identify the correct sources of funding, as well as the associated body corporate approval mechanisms. They can also ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed about the planning and progress of large projects, he says.

“In addition, we strongly recommend that trustees ask their managing agents to help them identify and engage professional project managers with the specific skills and experience needed to oversee each large project. In fact, whenever a loan is made by Trafalgar Financial Services for a large maintenance or capital project, we stipulate a requirement for a specialised project manager to be appointed, to ensure that the project is completed correctly and as far as possible in time and on budget.”

Schaefer says project managers can play a vital role in ensuring that projects are legally compliant by assisting trustees to obtain any permits that may be necessary to comply with relevant building codes and regulations, and to secure any required compliance certificates as well as the correct guarantees on completion of the project.

“They can also assist trustees to assess, select and manage the contractors for the planned maintenance or repair project. This includes researching potential contractors, soliciting bids, selecting preferred service providers and negotiating contracts.”

Then once contractors are selected, he says, the project manager can assume responsibility for monitoring their performance and ensuring that they are meeting the project requirements and timelines. Weekly minuted site meetings are typically an

important responsibility which an appointed project manager can cover.

“They can thus be of invaluable help to the trustees – and their professional fees can be incorporated in the loan agreement.”

Meanwhile, says Schaefer, managing agents can liaise with project managers and help the trustees to make sure that all owners, tenants and other stakeholders are aware of the project and how it is progressing, by way of regular newsletters and feedback sessions as well as formal progress reports.

“Time and again we have seen the value and effectiveness of engaging a project manager on a technical, complex or large project – and very often project managers also achieve long-term savings by ensuring the durability of the project and that all the necessary guarantees and warranties remain in place because of a fully compliant and accurate installation or implementation.”

*For more information about how Trafalgar helps sectional title trustees to plan, run and successfully complete large maintenance or repair projects, contact Andrew Schaefer on 083 399 9907

Issued by the Trafalgar Property Group

For more information contact

Andrew Schaefer on 011 214 5228

Or visit

About TrafalgarTrafalgar currently has more than 90 000 residential properties worth more than R100bn under management in more than 1400 community housing schemes around SA.

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