Upkeep and repairs in sectional title schemes

You just took transfer and became the proud owner of a unit in a sectional title scheme. After the first summer rains you notice, with dismay, that there are damp stains on the outer walls of your unit. You inform the body corporate, who, by way of their trustees, indicate that the said damp must be fixed by you as the owner of the unit.

The process to approval for extending a Sectional Title Unit

Sectional title schemes are divided into Units and Common Property. The Sectional Titles Act 95/1986 (the Act) defines a unit as “a section together with its undivided share in common property apportioned to that section in accordance with the quota of the section”. The Act also defines Common Property as “land included in the scheme and such part of a building or buildings as are not included in a section”. All owners of units are there for “participants” in the common property of a sectional title scheme. Monthly levies, and in some cases special levies (for example when the buildings in the scheme needs painting) are paid i.a. in contribution to the upkeep and repair of such common property to be managed by the appointed trustees, acting on behalf and in the interest of, the body corporate (owners of units). The upkeep and repair of a section will only rest with the individual owners of such sections as this does not fall within the definition of common property. 

According to section 5(4) of the Act the measurement or the “common boundary between any section…. and common property shall be the median line of the dividing wall”. The measurement (and per definition ownership) of a section will therefor only be only be in respect of the inside walls of the unit measured to the half of the unit wall. The “outside half” of unit walls as indicated on the sectional title diagram will form part of the Common Property. It can therefore be argued that, ownership and the responsibility to manage, maintain, upgrade and repair any damage to the common property (“outside walls” in this case) rests with the body corporate. 

Follow Snymans on Facebook for more legal information, tips and news about property.

Recommended for you

My name has changed - what happens to my property’s title deed?
Sectional Title Governance

What it means to be a trustee[post_view before=""]

The creation of a family trust has always been a popular way to manage and safeguard assets. It provides for continuity when it involves, for instance, the preservation of immoveable property for family generations. 

Read More
Your Trusted Partner in Residential and Commercial Property Transfers
Sectional Title Governance

The Family Home – A customary law concept gets acknowledgement from the CC[post_view before=""]

This is an application that ended up in the Constitutional Court, by a partner (applicant) who lived with her late partner in, what was to them, their family home. Upon the death of her late partner, she (the applicant) was appointed the executrix of her deceased partner’s estate who died intestate. The applicant and deceased were not married but had lived together for years in the family home the applicant had inherited from her late grandfather as a “family home” intended to be for the benefit of the family.

Read More
Minors and immovable property
Sectional Title Governance

The Body Corporate and the Community Scheme Ombud Service[post_view before=""]

It is commonly accepted that the trustees appointed in a sectional title scheme have a fiduciary duty to manage the scheme in good faith and with its best interest in mind.  This is supported by the fact that all owners in a sectional title scheme have similar obligations toward other residents in the scheme and the common property. This is also underpinned by the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011.

Read More
Property Blog Articles | Advice | Contractual Matters | Market News
Sectional Title Governance

ULTRA – The CC once again confirms the importance of women’s rights in Rahube v Rahube and Others [2018] ZACC 42[post_view before=""]

This case involves the apartheid era, where not only rights of black people were oppressed but also rights of women. In this case, an entire family lived together in a property – that is, the applicant, her grandmother, uncle, three brothers (including the first respondent) and two children.

Read More
Property Blog Articles | Advice | Contractual Matters | Market News
Sectional Title Governance

SPLUMA in Mpumalanga: the saga continues[post_view before=""]

In this article, we take a closer look at an ongoing matter relating to SPLUMA in Mpumalanga. SPLUMA stands for the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, and all municipalities in the province have issued by-laws relating to SPLUMA certificates and the transfer of property.

Read More

Need more Snymans content?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Upkeep and repairs in sectional title schemes

You just took transfer and became the proud owner of a unit in a sectional title scheme. After the first summer rains you notice, with dismay, that there are damp stains on the outer walls of your unit. You inform the body corporate, who, by way of their trustees, indicate that the said damp must be fixed by you as the owner of the unit.

The process to approval for extending a Sectional Title Unit

Sectional title schemes are divided into Units and Common Property. The Sectional Titles Act 95/1986 (the Act) defines a unit as “a section together with its undivided share in common property apportioned to that section in accordance with the quota of the section”. The Act also defines Common Property as “land included in the scheme and such part of a building or buildings as are not included in a section”. All owners of units are there for “participants” in the common property of a sectional title scheme. Monthly levies, and in some cases special levies (for example when the buildings in the scheme needs painting) are paid i.a. in contribution to the upkeep and repair of such common property to be managed by the appointed trustees, acting on behalf and in the interest of, the body corporate (owners of units). The upkeep and repair of a section will only rest with the individual owners of such sections as this does not fall within the definition of common property. 

According to section 5(4) of the Act the measurement or the “common boundary between any section…. and common property shall be the median line of the dividing wall”. The measurement (and per definition ownership) of a section will therefor only be only be in respect of the inside walls of the unit measured to the half of the unit wall. The “outside half” of unit walls as indicated on the sectional title diagram will form part of the Common Property. It can therefore be argued that, ownership and the responsibility to manage, maintain, upgrade and repair any damage to the common property (“outside walls” in this case) rests with the body corporate. 

Follow Snymans on Facebook for more legal information, tips and news about property.