Sectional title corner – Why extending your unit means you pay higher levies
One of the owners of a section in our scheme has a deck area that is an exclusive-use area. He wants to enclose the deck and make it a sunroom. We have advised him that it is an extension of his section and he needs to follow the procedures of the Sectional Titles Act. He is not in agreement and says he is merely doing an improvement on his exclusive-use area. Please help us convince him. – Paul
Hi Paul, unfortunately some people do not want to be convinced when they think they are right. Section 24(3) of the Sectional Titles Act states that “If an owner of a section proposes to extend the boundaries or floor area 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.”
This owner is clearly extending the boundaries and floor area of his section. He is incorporating the deck into his section, making it another room in the section and therefore he has to follow the procedures as set out in Section 24 of the act. He needs to get approval from the body corporate by way of a special resolution and needs to have the sectional plans re-done. If the deviance in the participation quota of his section is more than 10% then he will need bondholders’ approval as well. After the whole process has been followed (at his cost) the levies will need to be recalculated as he is supposed to pay more, and all the other owners less.
Just playing devil’s advocate: How many other owners have maybe extended their sections without following the proper procedure? It will be a good idea to do a survey and get those owners to go through the process together as shared costs are better than each going through it on their own.
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Who is Karien Coetzee?
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.