Charges for exclusive use areas in sectional title schemes

Of the issues that often cause problems in sectional title schemes, the right to the exclusive use of a common area in the scheme and the rental charged for that use is often brought up. Many feel that they have the right to use a certain area but often are not happy to pay the extra cost or the cost of the maintenance of this area.

Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company IHFM says that it makes sense to charge for the use of the area, as this area is reserved for the exclusive use for an owner and needs to be maintained in some way. If that owner owned the extra portion, he would be paying a higher levy anyway because his PQ factor would be higher and he would be responsible for its maintenance.

If it is a garden, for instance, the costs of the upkeep of that garden, e.g. replanting of plants, composting, weed removal, etc., would need to be paid for. If it is a parking area and the road surface needs redoing or if a balcony is leaking and needs to be repaired, the costs of the maintenance need to be borne by someone. The Sectional Titles Act (which came into use in 1986) is clear that the owner of the exclusive use area is responsible for the maintenance and repair of this area.

The Act says that an additional levy for exclusive use areas must be charged, but usually in sectional title schemes the ordinary and special levies are based on a participation quota and should already be covering all the running costs of the scheme.

"There might be an over-recovery of money from the collection of additional levies from the owners," said Bauer. "This surplus money collected for the exclusive use areas should then be allocated to reducing the scheme's levies by a certain amount.?

Problems usually arise when a repair is needed in and is not being done timeously, for example, a leaky enclosed balcony. This, said Bauer, is often a tricky situation as the body corporate can compel the owner to pay for the maintenance or repair of an exclusive use area. If the owner does not comply, the body corporate can give him 30 days' notice and if he doesn't act they can then arrange for the job to be done at the owner's expense, according to Prescribed Management Rule 70.

The other problem that the body corporate might encounter is access to the exclusive use area. If it is a balcony for example, the owner will have to give workmen and the managing agent access via his apartment.

"It is recommended that the additional levy for the exclusive use of an area be standardised within the scheme. Exclusive use levies can range from R75 to R250 per month.?

Trustees must budget correctly and only raise levies according to the actual expenses of the scheme. If there is an over-recovery, the regular monthly levies should be reduced by the proportionate amount," said Bauer.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 25 Apr 2018
      Whether you are a seasoned seller or new to the game, putting your home on the market is an exciting moment. To ensure you get the best possible outcome these 8 value adding additions to your home is worth the effort.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      After four years of unprecedented growth fuelled by semigration, the Southern suburbs market faced a number of challenges in 2017, including dwindling affordability and a marked slowing in house price growth with many sellers forced to lower their prices in order to secure a sale.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      Mall of Africa, is celebrating its second year of sensational success. This splendid super-regional shopping centre first opened on 28 April 2016, and has grown in popularity, performance and profile since then.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      While the role of trustee in a sectional title scheme is a voluntary and unpaid position, it is one that comes with huge responsibility. Trustees have a fiduciary duty towards their scheme, says Chinelle Hewit, Operations Manager at sectional title finance company Propell.
    • 24 Apr 2018
      The thing about the property ladder is that at some point in our lives we all have reason to want to climb a rung or two higher. Sometimes, it’s because we’ve outgrown our previous dream home, or because we want to be in a better neighbourhood that’s closer to work or to schools. Sometimes it’s because our circumstances have changed, and we’re taking care of elderly parents or relatives. Sometimes, it’s just because we want a property that reflects the financial status our hard work has won.
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Whenever changes in the political ecosystem of a traditional property market create uncertainty, smart investors begin to look elsewhere for new opportunities. Property experts at IP Global have analysed the trends and crunched the numbers to find new markets to explore in Europe and the United States.
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Energy and water self-sufficiency are increasingly important factors in home buyers’ choice of property – especially in Cape Town where the extreme drought of the past few years has made municipal supply costly as well as uncertain.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      During the last decade, rampant development has progressively transformed Cape Town’s property landscape with densification being the order of the day, but there are still one or two hidden gems like Scarborough which have retained their original character, offering an inimitable lifestyle and an attractive investment opportunity.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us