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Sectional title corner: I want to convert to a duplex, in a complex of simplexes

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I live in a two bedroom 104m² unit in a sectional title complex with an adjoining garage.

I have a dream – I want to build a 30m² room with a toilet, shower and double washbasins on top of my double garage. The existing roof trusses and tiles will be reutilised. Only the firewalls will be raised with matching brickwork and windows.

My biggest problem will be the staircase that has to be enclosed on the patio which is exclusive-use area but on common property. I need 4m² extra increasing my footprint which obviously means increased levy.

This proposal will be laid before the body corporate. Should the body corporate have no objections I can approach an architect to draw up proper plans especially related to the load bearing capacity of existing foundations. These plans must then be approved by the relevant authorities before commencement of the project.

Is this a reasonable and feasible request as many other owners are very interested in doing exactly the same? What objections can the BC have as there are no double storey buildings in this complex? Are they obliged to give reasons for their rejection?

Your comments are highly appreciated – Hans


Hi Hans, not only do you need to get permission from the council and the trustees, you will also need to ensure that a quantity surveyor revises the participation quota (PQ) of the complex, as the PQ and levy will increase and reduce for others. Insurance will also be affected, and the cost of the surveyor is not cheap.

Should the general face of the complex, design of the complex be changed the trustees have the right to reject the application, along with the fact that it creates new issues when future owners move in, and there are problems with the maintenance of the extended enclosed areas.

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

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PetraAnswered by Petra Lewis, portfolio manager at Belmont Property Management


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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