Raw sewage in the corridors and a lift shaft filled with garbage up to the eighth floor is probably the most extreme case of a dysfunctional body corporate and a property investor's worst nightmare. But it illustrates what can happen when owners stop paying levies and don't take enough interest in the management of their property. It's what happened a few years ago at Ana Capri, a block of flats in Durban's Albert Park, before it was bought by Trafalgar Property Management and is now a test case in body corporate rehabilitation. But it took years and more than R20m to salvage. Michael Schaefer, a director at Trafalgar, says owning or living in a sectional title scheme is not for everyone and there's "a complete lack of understanding" of the laws governing it. Attorney Marina Constas, the head of the sectional title and developments department at BBM Law, agrees. "At any time, we've got six attorneys dealing with disputes in bodies corporate." Quoting "sectional title guru" the late ...

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