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Sectional title corner – your burning questions answered


I own a unit on the second floor of an apartment building and it has an open balcony that I would like to enclose. One of the trustees found out about my plans and is insisting that I get permission to do so. Surely I don’t need permission? It is my balcony after all! – Mischa


Hi Mischa,

Unfortunately it is not that simple. We first have to check the status of the balcony. Even though it is on the second floor and the only access to it is through your unit, it could still be a portion of the common property. I will need to check the sectional plans and the rules of the Body Corporate as filed at the Deeds Office to determine the status.

The three possibilitiesparticipation quota sectional title resize

  1. The balcony may be part of the section (already included in the floor area of the section)
  2. The balcony may be common property
  3. The balcony may be an exclusive-use area

If the balcony is part of the section then you are increasing the floor area of your section, but you will still have to submit the plans to the trustees as they are responsible to uphold the harmonious appearance of the complex. And they must ensure that it does not impair the structure of the building.

If the balcony is common property or an exclusive-use area then you will be increasing your section’s floor area. This is covered by Section 24 of the Sectional Titles Act (Act 95 of 1986):

  • The owner needs to get a special resolution passed by the body corporate to approve his proposed extension,

  • The owner then needs to get a land surveyor or architect to submit a draft sectional plan to the Surveyor-General for approval – this includes an amended participation quota schedule,

  • The sectional plan of extension must then be registered at the Deeds Office,

  • If there is a deviation of more than 10% in the participation quotas as a result of the extension, the owner also has to get approval from all the bond holders,

  • The Deeds Office will then register the sectional plan of extension and make endorsements on the title deed of the section,

  • Once the plan has been registered the participation quotas of all sections will change – causing the levies to change. The owner with the extension will pay a higher levy and everybody else will pay a lower levy.Trafalgar logo fc_pay off line

Got a burning question? Email david@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist you.

Who is Karien Coetzee?

Karien Coetzee, national property management consultant at Trafalgar.

Karien Coetzee, national property management consultant at Trafalgar.

Karien Coetzee is the national property management consultant at property management company, Trafalgar. She holds qualifications in sectional title schemes management and homeowners association management.



David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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