It might, on the face of it, sound perfectly reasonable that a body corporate in a sectional title scheme may cut the water and electricity supply of non-paying owners, until they bring their accounts up to date.
Legally, it is not so simple, as this judgment explains. This judgment indicates that if there is a scheme rule to this effect, the disconnection is likely to be allowable. But remember that even this is not plain sailing: There exists a CSOS statement that a rule allowing for the disconnection of electricity or other essential services because of non-payment of levies is likely to be considered undesirable by the Ombud.
Persons facing eviction from leased premises often try to challenge such proceedings on the basis that they have an improvement lien over the property and must be reimbursed before they can be asked to move out.
In the right circumstances, this may assist an occupier. But improvement liens apply only in respect of residential, and not agricultural, land. Tenants must take note and, if they seek to be reimbursed for improvements to leased premises, ensure to have a proper agreement in place to this effect.
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