Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Sectional Tile Unit?

Sectional title describes separate ownership of units or sections within a complex or development.

When you purchase into a sectional title development, you purchase a section or sections, as well as an undivided share of the common property.

Every section is allocated a “participation quota” that determines the size of the share on the complex that is co-owned by all the owners.

The owner of the unit automatically becomes a member of the body corporate, which is the legal entity that exists to control, manage, and maintain all the common property.

Sectional title developments can be residential, commercial, retail, mixed use, service apartments, resorts & retirement villages.

What is common property?

Means any part of land or building in a community scheme which is intended for common use by all occupiers. For example, driveways, gardens, swimming pools, clubhouses, lifts, security systems, parking bays, braai facilities external (outer) walls and roofs of the buildings which house the section. 

Some parts of the common property may be designated as exclusive use areas.

What is exclusive use area?

Exclusive use areas in a sectional title scheme are defined in the Sectional Titles Act as a part or parts of the common property for the exclusive use rights to a specific section or group of sections.

Exclusive use means that an owner can use, enjoy and benefit from a part of the common property. The owner who holds the rights of use to any part of the common must be clearly identified, for everyone to know exactly who may use that specific area. The owner of an exclusive use area does not own that portion of common property but have rights to sole use of the area.

How is exclusive use registered to a section owner?

Exclusive use rights are created and conferred in one of two ways,

1. Registered real rights or by way of a right conferred in terms of a scheme rule.

The location of an EUA subject to rule-based rights, its identifying number, size and intended use are marked on a scale layout plan, which along with the allocation schedule forms part of the rule.

2. The person holding the registered right has a certificate issued by the Registrar of Deeds.

EUAs subject to registered rights are surveyed and shown on the approved and registered sectional plan. The survey beacons are identified and described the distances between them and their bearings from one another are listed in a schedule on the plan. Additionally, the extent of the EUA is often described in the notes to the sheet of the sectional plan in which the EUA is delineated.

In both cases there is certainty as to who holds the rights and the exact area of common property that is subject to the rights.

How is a Homeowners Association different to Sectional tile?

Sectional tile schemes are created and managed under the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (with amendments). The Sectional titles Schemes Management Act, 2011 and the community Schemes Ombud Service Act, 2011.

Homeowners Associations are governed by their constitution, as approved at their initial inaugural meeting, the constitutions often change through the course of the existence of the association. The Community Schemes Ombud Service Act, 2011, has some practice guidelines applicable to Homeowners Associations too.

How are levies calculated?

The sectional title plans of the scheme provides the participation quota of each units share in the common property an in return the owner’s value they should contribution towards, upkeep, management, control, and administration of the common property.

What is participation quota?

Sectional Titles Act stipulates that “the participation quota of a section shall be a percentage expressed to four decimal places, and arrived at by dividing the floor area, correct to the nearest square metre, of the section by the floor area, correct to the nearest square metre, of all the sections in the building or buildings comprised in the scheme.” The size of a section is measured from median line to median line, from unit to unit, or unit to outside.

What are the different levies that can be raised in a sectional title scheme?
  1. Normal levies raised to fund the administrative/ operational fund.
  2. Levies that are raised to fund the administrative reserve fund.
  3. Levies raised for future repairs and replacement plan (10-year maintenance reserve)
  4. Special levies
  5. Additional exclusive use contributions.
  6. The levy that needs to be paid to the Community Schemes Ombud Service.
What are the requirements to pass a special resolution?

A general meeting can be called. 30 (thirty) consecutive days’ notice must be given to all members of the Body Corporate. The notice must specify the proposed resolution to be considered.

At the meeting normal quorum requirements are needed, which is 33.33% (of all participation quotas, for schemes bigger than 4 sections).

Members in favor of passing the resolution must be considered using two methods:

  1. 75% of members present or represented must by show of hands, be in favor of passing the resolution.
  2. 75% of total members present or represented by PQ value, must be in favor of passing the resolution.
Can I vote if I only own a utility section?

Yes, you may. Prescribed Management rule 15 of the Sectional Titles Schemes Act, provides for it.

When can an owner not vote at a general meeting?

An owner who has a judgement or judication order may not vote for any ordinary resolution. However, their PQ may form part of quorum requirements if they are present or represented at the meeting.

The owner may vote for any special or unanimous resolution, despite the judgement or order made against them.

Who may be elected as a trustee?

Anybody can be a trustee, need not be an owner, unless they are employed by the managing agent or by the body corporate. If the person is an employee of the managing agent or the body corporate and he/she owns a unit in the scheme, only then can they be considered as a trustee. Further defines under Prescribed Management Rule 6 of the Sectional Title Management Act.

When does a trustee cease to hold office?

In terms of Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, 6(4):

(4) A trustee ceases to hold office if that trustee—

(a) by written notice to the body corporate, resigns from office;
(b) is declared by a court to be of unsound mind;
(c) is or becomes insolvent and the insolvency results in the sequestration of that trustee's estate;
(d) is convicted, or has been convicted in the Republic or elsewhere, of theft, fraud, forgery, perjury or any other offence involving dishonesty;
(e) is sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine;
(f) is removed from an office of trust on account of misconduct in respect of fraud or the misappropriation of money;
(g) is removed from office by ordinary resolution of a general meeting; provided the intention to vote on the proposed removal was specified in the notice convening the meeting;
(h) is or becomes disqualified to hold office as a director of a company in terms of the Companies Act, 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008); or
(i) fails or refuses to pay the body corporate any amount due by that trustee after a court or adjudicator has given a judgment or order for payment of that amount.

How to effectively lodge a complaint against our neighbour breaking the rules:
  1. Your subject heading should include the scheme name, unit number you suspect is in breach of the rules.
  2. The complaint must be made in writing, no WhatsApp messages or telephone calls are deemed as effective platforms for communication of complaints, or conflict resolutions.
  3. Ensure you have evidence to support your complaint, being pictures or voice clips.
  4. Your complaint will be reviewed, and the appointed trustees will be asked for directive in how to address the matter.
  5. Pending the outcome from the trustee’s instruction, a letter will be drafted addressing the complaint with the transgressor.

Should an owner wish to dispute the warning or penalty imposed based on the above:

  1. The respondent must formulate their response in writing, within the given time frame on the warning.
  2. The dispute will be sent to the trustees for consideration, on how to resolve the matter.
  3. Should the respondent not be satisfied with the resolution proposed, they are welcome to lodge a complaint with the Community Scheme Ombud Service, following the link below:
    https://www.csos.org.za/forms/

Related Links:

Financial Administration

Financial Administration

Levy Collection

Levy Collection

Administration, Secretarial & Advisory

Administration, Secretarial & Advisory

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Insurance & Claims Administration

Insurance & Claims Administration

Repairs & Maintenance Administration