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Monday May 12, 2014

Senator Park property owners face court action over R4m levies

The body corporate of the once-notorious Senator Park building in the city has turned to the high court to recover about R4 million owed by various unit owners.

The body corporate plans to attract the right tenants to Senator Park.

Senator Park is in the process of being refurbished after it was put on the City of Cape Town's problem buildings list.

It was essential that outstanding levies and special levies be recovered, said Len Lowings of L&V Property Services, so that the complex could attract the right calibre of tenants.

Two applications for summary judgment have already found their way on to the Western Cape High Court roll.

The body corporate commissioned structural engineers in November 2009 to investigate the state of the building, particularly the residential units.

Their report, submitted to the City of Cape Town, found that a significant percentage of the reinforcing in the external facade was corroding.

The building was dilapidated and a haven for criminal activity before the high court ordered in 2011 that tenants move out to make way for the multimillion-rand upgrade.

Only 16 resident owners were allowed to remain.

Lowings said the court applications were slowing down the upgrade because the money was needed to pay for the renovations.

He was confident that the building would be opened before the end of the year.

While the money it had received covered essential structural repairs, fire requirements, painting, tiling and access control, Lowings said other services, such as wi-fi and DStv, depended on whether the outstanding funds were recovered.

He said if the body corporate wanted to attract a certain calibre of tenant, additions such as wi-fi and DStv were essential.

Once the complex was reopened, every potential tenant would have to be vetted to ensure that they were able to pay the rent, to prevent overcrowding. 'We have to make it as uncomfortable as possible for any criminal element to live there.'

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)


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