As winter begins in earnest, homeowners around the country, particularly those in community schemes, such as bodies corporate and home owners’ associations and the like, are being reminded of the all-important matter of ‘seasonal maintenance’. Not a popular subject of discussion, but vitally important in order for schemes to run efficiently and for trustees to meet the legal and fiduciary requirements of the members they serve.
“There’s never a convenient time to do maintenance,” says ZDFin CEO Michael Schaefer, “especially if your scheme is short on financial resources, but the longer you put it off the worse (and more costly) it gets with associated costs often increasing exponentially over time. Our approach is that forward planning is the key to success. Cashflow is often the main stumbling block for schemes and as a result, essential maintenance work such as water and damp-proofing, spalling, window maintenance, roof repairs, hot water systems etc., get pushed to the back burner until it becomes critical….and costly.” *
“Over the years we have set up a network of key professionals such as insurance brokers, attorneys, engineers, builders, plumbers and solar specialists that we trust and know will deliver the service and expertise we expect. We are able to give clients timeous, long lasting solutions, rather than simply point out the problems.”
Many community schemes are so overwhelmed by the challenges facing them that they don’t know which way to turn. They have neither the time nor the contacts to get the work done, so it becomes a real challenge. With ZDFin’s financial muscle and smart financial solutions, they are able to give schemes the relief and assistance they need, without breaking the bank or incurring crippling costs.
For example, a scheme in Midrand, with in excess of 300 owners, had not undertaken any major repairs and maintenance in the decade since it was formed. With a thorough Scope of Work in hand covering everything from roofing and painting, to the installation of water meters and major water reticulation, ZDFin financed the R10 million project. Thanks to the close collaboration between the owners and the project manager (responsible for putting together the scope and supervising the tender), ZDFin were able to offer viable terms and a selection of payment options in line with the scope that the owners selected.
ZDFin’s years of experience in the property management and maintenance arena, and innovative finance solutions are the trump card, to enabling community schemes to get ahead of the ‘task list’, without incurring an untenable financial burden and meeting their legal obligations at the same time. In addition, with interest rates at all time low, Schaefer says “there couldn’t be a better time to borrow money to do this essential work.”
*In 2016 the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act was made law in South Africa. Regulations make it mandatory for each body corporate to have a 10-year maintenance plan approved by owners and detailing projected works. The plan provides direction for the computation of levies. While well-intentioned, the law complicated the lives of trustees and scheme members, many of whom had little or no experience in dealing with such matters.