You may be thinking of purchasing in a sectional title scheme. Here are some common questions/ points to consider before doing so.
When you elect to purchase in a sectional scheme not only do you become an owner of a flat or section in a building (a “section”), you also acquire ownership of an undivided share of the common property, namely the areas that are owned and used by all of the owners (roads, driveways, corridors, lifts, staircases, etc.)
Exclusive use areas are part or parts of the common property for the exclusive use of a particular owner of one or more sections. The most common examples of exclusive use areas include, but are not limited to, garages, parking bays, balconies etc. The exclusive use areas will either be indicated on the sectional plan and registered as such or allocated by the body corporate in terms of the scheme’s rules.
The sectional plan will indicate how the property is divided into sections and common property. The sectional plan may also indicate what areas are deemed exclusive use areas and whether they are parking bays, gardens, garages etc.
Each sectional scheme is managed according to prescribed conduct rules and management rules. The standard prescribed rules are provided for in terms of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011. These rules bind the body corporate and all the owners of the sections as well as any person(s) occupying a section. When purchasing in sectional scheme each new owner must be provided with a copy of the rules. The conduct rules generally include rules regarding whether or not pets are allowed in the complex, rules regarding parking and visitors, whether or not changes can be made to your section etc.
All of the owners of the sections in the scheme automatically form part of the Body Corporate. At the Annual General Meeting, all of the owners elect trustees who act on behalf of the Body Corporate. Each owners’ voting rights will be determined by their share of ownership in the scheme. The trustees’ functions are to enforce the rules of the scheme as well as to manage and attend to administration of the common property on behalf of all of the owners. In order to assist the body corporate with the day to day running of the scheme, each owner will pay a monthly levy which may be used for the general maintenance and upkeep of the scheme, insurance premiums, salaries and wages for cleaning and security staff etc. Each owners levy will be determined by their share of ownership in the scheme. The trustees may also elect to appoint a managing agent to assist with the abovementioned maintenance and administration of the scheme.
In terms of Section 25(1) of The Sectional Titles Act, a real right to extend allows a developer or body corporate to extend a sectional title scheme by erecting further buildings, extending existing buildings and/ or creating additional exclusive use areas. When purchasing in a sectional scheme, if the developer has reserved the right to extend the scheme, this must be disclosed to a purchaser in the sale agreement. If the real right to extend was not disclosed in the sale agreement, a purchaser may elect either to cancel the sale agreement and recover any monies paid in respect of the agreement or consent in writing to the real right of extension.
Should you require any assistance with regards to purchasing or selling a unit in a sectional scheme, consider contacting one of our conveyancing attorneys in Cape Town for assistance with assessing your needs as well as to assist with the drafting of the relevant documentation.
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