In this article, we cover some commonly asked questions relating to burst geysers / geyser claims in the majority of Sectional Title developments.

Geyser Claims: Having hot water on demand is certainly a comfort we have grown accustomed to, the real problem begins when we no longer have that luxury because the geyser has burst or requires some repairs. It is no secret that geyser related issues can be a real headache for sectional title owners and in some cases cause a great deal of confusion. The greatest cause of confusion is where the geyser is situated. In most cases the geyser is either in the roof or the outside of the unit which is essentially seen as common property and if that is the case the question that begs to be answered is who is responsible for the repairs and or replacement costs?

Instead of using intimidating words such as “The relevant clause in the Sectional Title Act 95 of 1986” and the “PMR” (Prescribed Management Rules) we, at Solver, thought it would be better to give you as an owner a short and summarized answer. As the owner of a section/unit, you are responsible for the hot water supply that services your unit, even if it is located on common property.

Fortunately, the situation is not as dire as it may seem, the good news is that the majority geysers in sectional title schemes fall under the Bodies Corporate insurance. Now before you get too excited, please keep in mind that as the owner of a section/unit you are still liable for the excess on any claim.

As Managing Agents, and widely considered Sectional title experts, we try to simplify the claims process as much as possible for our clients: Included on the bottom of your levy statement is several emergency contact numbers, if need be, they will attend to the repairs or replace of the geyser if it is required. As the owner of a section, you are entitled to use one of your own preferred plumbers provided the repair is carried out within the insurance rates. Once the job has been completed, it is the responsibility of the owner to forward a copy of the invoice together with a completed “Geyser Claim Form” to your Portfolio Manager. This claim form can be downloaded from the Solver website here. We will then submit the documents to the insurers on your behalf. Once the claim is settled the excess portion of the claim will be billed to your levy account (In some cases, you may be required to pay the plumber and/or call center the excess portion upfront). For more information on the insurance replacement rates and/or process, please feel free to contact our office on 010 822 2882.

What about resultant damage? In the event that your unit has sustained damage due to a burst geyser, you can claim for the resultant damages. Please keep in mind that the Body Corporate insurance only covers fixed assets within the unit. Any damage to moveable assets will need to be claimed through your personal content insurance.

Claiming for resultant damage: To claim for resultant damage, following a burst geyser, you as the owner will need to obtain three repair quotations. These quotations must be sent to your Portfolio Manager as soon as possible so that it may be submitted to the insurers as part of your geyser claim. It must be noted that sometimes the insurers repudiate claims that are left too long.

Summary

  • As the owner of the unit, you are responsible for the hot water supply servicing the unit.
  • You can claim for a burst geyser or certain geyser repairs.
  • You can claim for resultant damage on fixed assets within the unit.
  • As the owner, you are liable for the excess on any claim.
  • As the owner, you have the right to use your own plumber, provided the repairs are carried out at the approved rates.
  • Insurance replacement values are available on request.

This article forms part of Solvers comprehensive service provided to you – by keeping you informed and up to date with important news, including any changes to the Community Schemes industry.