Residents in a Sectional Title Scheme are subject to the rules and regulations of the Body Corporate. These rules and regulations are governed by the Sectional Titles Act.

When you intend to make structural alterations to your unit there is a procedure prescribed by the Act that should be complied with before you start with the alterations. Any alterations that extend the boundaries or floor area of the unit will be seen as an extension.

The legal requirements that must be adhered to are discussed below.

Step 0ne:

The Act stipulates that you should first obtain the consent of  the Body Corporate. Usually the trustees will hold a general meeting and the members must pass a special resolution to agree to the alterations. To pass the special resolution you will  require consent of 75% of the owners that  are present at the meeting. This however could be time consuming as the members should be notified of the meeting thirty days in advance. Alternatively you can also obtain a special resolution by approaching all the owners individually and obtaining the consent of 75% of all the owners.

Step Two:

Once the Body Corporate’s  consent have been obtained, plans of the extension should be drawn up and approved by the Local Authority.

Step Three:

A Land Surveyor should be appointed to draw new Sectional Title Plans of the Scheme to incorporate the extension. These plans have to be approved by the Surveyor General.

Step Four:

Consult with your attorney who will  draw the necessary application for the registration of the amended Sectional Title Plan in the Deeds Office and the noting of the change in the extend of the unit.

If the unit is bonded the attorney will have to obtain the consent from the mortgagee of the unit.

With the application in the Deeds Office a transfer duty receipt must be lodged based on the increase in value of the property.  It is advisable to obtain two estate agents valuations based on the pre and post alterations value of the property.

The Surveyor must stipulate on the Sectional Title Plan that there is not a deviation of more than 10 percent in the participation quota of the unit as a result of the alterations. If there is a deviation of more than 10%  the attorney must obtain the consent of the mortgagees of each and every unit in the Scheme.

It is very important that  Sectional Title owners adhere to the legalities as a omission could cause extensive delays when the property is sold.

Source Reference:
Section 24 of the Sectional Titles Act

Sectional Titles, Share Blocks and Time Sharing, vol1, Prof CG vd Merwe
Demystifying Sectional Title , M Constas and K Bleijs
Sectional Title on Tap, vol 1, Tertius Maree
Article by J Paddock
Article by Rob White

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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