Disclaimer boards around common property in community schemes have always been a prickly issue with the main question being around their effectiveness. We have always viewed disclaimer boards prominently displayed at entrances and around common property as being important but it is important that these are up to date with the latest legislation and always penned by legal experts in the field of liability.
From an insurer’s point of view
Trustees and managing agents should be mindful that when notifying an insurer of a potential liability claim on common property – for example after a slip and fall incident – one of the first things an insurer will ask for is a copy or photo of the disclaimer boards. If disclaimer boards are in place, trustees and managing agents should ensure these are up to date. A good measure is to photograph the boards and refer them to an appropriate legal expert for a legal audit of sorts.
The placement, location and visibility of such is also important. One liability expert (Advocate Louis Nel) offers to visit the common area and actually audit the complex needs. Important areas include the gate entrance, lift foyers, swimming pools, community gyms, visitors parking areas, parking basements, etc.
In a recent article, Can an exemption clause or disclaimer protect you from a liability? by Pariksha Moodley of Camargue Underwriting Managers, she summarises some of the legal aspects underpinning the above.
Trustees and managing agents: It may well be time to put ‘Disclaimer Board Audit’ at the top of your to-do list.
Author: Mike Addison
Contact Addsure – The Leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – to get fit and proper advice from advisors who understand Sectional Title. Contact us in Johannesburg (011) 704-3858; Durban (031) 459-1795; Cape Town (021) 551-5069