Keeping the lights on in Sectional Title schemes

With no relief from load shedding and rolling blackouts on the near horizon, an increasing number of Sectional Title (ST) schemes are making plans to install generators, solar panels and other equipment to keep the lights on.
Many are also having to look at additional tanks and booster pumps to secure a steady supply of water when council pumping stations are also affected by load shedding and the mains water supply dries up.
“However,” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of leading national property management company Trafalgar, “trustees must make sure they follow the correct procedures before purchasing such equipment for their schemes.And the first step is usually to explain to owners why considerations regarding noise, fumes and aesthetics mean that the best option for most sectional title schemes is a single large generator (or solar power plant) to serve the whole complex.”
Those owners who think it might be a better idea if each of them had their own portable generator, he says, may need to be reminded that the Sectional Titles Act and rules prohibit owners from doing anything that is likely to be a nuisance to other owners and from making aesthetically displeasing changes to the exterior of their units - and that the trustees are required to uphold these rules, so there is a possibility of serious friction over individual installations.
“In addition, unless owners have an exclusive use area where they can operate their own generator or put their own solar panels, they will each need to get the permission of every other owner in the scheme for their individual installation.”
In most instances, the owners will quickly agree that a single installation is best, but since it will constitute an “improvement to common property”, the trustees will still have to proceed to the next step, which is get their formal go-ahead in terms of the Sectional Titles Act.
“This will need to be a unanimous resolution if the owners feel that the installation would be a luxurious improvement, but only a special or majority resolution if the installation is regarded as a non-luxurious or necessary improvement,” Schaefer says. “And these days, the general feeling seems to be that a generator is a necessary improvement, especially if it is needed to power the lights on the common property and electrically-driven security gates, doors, cameras, fencing and alarm systems.”
Turning to water supplies, he says that many apartment blocks, particularly in Johannesburg, have already experienced problems with very low water pressure and in some cases no water supply at all for several days due to load shedding.
“And since it is really not practical to resolve these problems by means of individual installations, we suggest that any scheme that has experienced them, or expects that they might, should immediately call in an expert to assess what additional water storage tanks and booster pumps their complex may need, and make provision in their next budget – at the latest - for the purchase of this equipment.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us