For safety reasons, it has become more and more popular to buy property in sectional title units and thus have people closer to you when the need should arise. This is usually also a smaller property to maintain and may be cheaper than trying to maintain a huge free standing property.
However, it is not always fun and games and you might end up with more on your plate than you would want to handle.
For clarity it is important to note the following components of a sectional title scheme:
1. Units or sections, which are individually owned and registered in the name of the owner.
2. Common property, which is owned by all the owners in undivided shares and may include gardens, driveways and carports.
3. Exclusive use areas, which are portions of the common property that a specific owner has an exclusive right to use, but which is not owned by that owner.
It is important to remember that once you become the owner in a sectional title owner, you are a member of the body corporate, who is responsible to manage the complex. These members will appoint trustees who will tend to the day to day matters of the Body Corp and will report back to the members at the AGM. If you are not a trustee, you have the right to question the decisions o the trustees and discuss your concerns with them.
At the AGM the members of the body corporate approve a budget for the upcoming financial year. The trustees then raise a levy which is payable by every owner on a monthly basis. In this way, every owner contributes to the expenses of the body corporate.
There are different types of levies. Example:
- Ordinary levies - calculated in accordance with the approved budget - and
- Special levies, which are raised to cover expenditure that has not been approved in the budget (for example, if a lift breaks down and must be fixed urgently.
New owners become liable for the pro rata payment of both ordinary and special levies from the date of registration of transfer. Purchasers should thus enquire at the onset of the transaction whether any special levies will be due and payable.
Each complex will have a set of management rules, which may include some of the following items
Compiled from Property 24