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Legal Matters - Apr/May 2021

What you need to know about Sectional Title Schemes

What you need to know about Sectional Title Schemes

Commonly known as a ‘complex’, this type of property offers security to homeowners who prefer to live in a group setting.

All owners jointly own the land itself as well as the common property.

Common property comprises of areas such as staircases, lifts, corridors, roads and the entrance area.

Exclusive use areas are for example carports and storerooms which are used solely by the designated individuals entitled to use them.

The Body Corporate

The Body Corporate is responsible for the control, administration and management of the scheme. All the owners of the units in a scheme form part of the Body Corporate. At an annual general meeting of all the owners, trustees are elected to carry out the day to day running of the scheme. The duties of trustees are:

  • Ensuring levies are collected on time
  • Arranging regular annual general meetings
  • Running the sectional scheme effectively
  • Making sure owners and tenants comply with the scheme’s rules
  • Making sure that the scheme buildings and assets are insured
  • Raising special levies when unforeseen expenses occur
  • Making sure the common property is well maintained

Levies

Every owner makes a monthly monetary contribution to a fund for general expenses of the scheme.

Paying your monthly levy is not an option, it is an obligation by law, and failing to pay the levy could result in legal action against the owner. The whole sectional title scheme could lose value if some of the owners do not pay their levies.

There is no provision in the Sectional Title Act or prescribed rules that gives owners the right to withhold levies to set-off a debt believed to be owed to them by the Body Corporate.

When looking at purchasing a unit in a sectional title scheme

It is in your best interest to insist that the estate agent furnishes you with the following information:

  • The rules governing the scheme
  • The names of the trustees of the Body Corporate and managing agents
  • The amount of levy payable in respect of the unit and whether any increase is anticipated
  • The extent to which the Body Corporate has made provision for future maintenance of the scheme
  • Financial statements of the Body Corporate


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