select
|

Enclosure of patios in sectional title schemes

There is often discussion and debate on the issue of the enclosure of patios or balconies in sectional title schemes and whether they become part of the section of the owner (in which case his participation quota will be higher) or whether it remains part of the common property but for his exclusive use, says Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company, IHFM.
 
If the habitable space in the unit increases, it becomes a larger section then section 24 of the Sectional Titles Act applies, said Bauer, which would then mean that the PQ factor is higher and the levy will be higher.
 
The question arises as to whether this is habitable space; is situated on an enclosed exclusive use area, common property; or is already part of the section, he said.  The owner or the trustees would have to check the section plans of the scheme and check what this area is demarcated as on the sectional plans and then establish what the enclosure has created – habitable or enclosed space. 
 
There is no specific definition of what is habitable or enclosed space in the Sectional Titles Act, but whatever decision is made by the trustees becomes a precedent for the rest of the scheme and they must careful in deciding what the ruling will be, said Bauer. 
 
If it is decided that it is habitable space, then Section 24 of the Sectional Title Act comes into force, which says:  “If an owner of a section proposes to extend the limits of his or her section, he or she shall with the approval of the body corporate, authorised by a special resolution of its members, cause the land surveyor or architect concerned to submit a draft sectional plan of the extension to the Surveyor-General for approval.”
 
Keeping the above in mind, said Bauer, it means that the owner can only extend the floor area of his unit onto common property if he has a special resolution from the body corporate.  This resolution would have to be called for at a special general meeting and the owner would also have to amend the sectional plans.  This is done at the owner’s expense and these amended plans must then be submitted to the Deeds Office.  The new PQ factor will be calculated based on the additional square meterage.  All this must be done before construction commences.
 
If the owner encloses his balcony without consent, he is contravening the Act and he can be compelled to restore the unit to its original state at his own expense.  If he refuses, the trustees can then call for arbitration or a High Court application which will force him to do so, said Bauer.
 
A less complicated situation is if the trustees determine that the enclosure is merely an enclosed exclusive use area, in which case all that is needed is permission from the trustees.  A written application must be submitted to the trustees before the owner goes ahead with any enclosure, said Bauer, and the draft plans must be submitted.  The owner must also declare that he will not be using this space as habitable space.
 
The conduct rules must be consulted before any changes can be made to a unit, so if restrictions are stipulated in the rules, there might be changes to these necessary before any work can take place. 
 
There are usually stipulations in the conduct rules regarding the appearance of the enclosure and, sometimes, the standards of the contractor employed to do the job, said Bauer.
 
The installation standard and maintenance of these enclosures is also a contentious issue. “If there are leaks due to bad workmanship then who pays for the damage?” is a question that is brought up. 
 
“It is important for the body corporate to be strict in setting the standards, they should have a list of preferred installers or contractors and appoint a professional if need be to set the guidelines for installation,” he said.  “Once decisions are made and rules set it becomes very difficult after the fact to change rulings.  It is better to have these set in the beginning so the owners know upfront what the procedures are for approval of structures on their balconies or patios to avoid problems later.”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      A major shift in the ageing paradigm has precipitated an equally dramatic transformation in the retirement sector, with modern accommodation options worlds away from the conventional model.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK