Sectional title additions need approval from all concerned
SOME sectional title owners mistakenly believe that permission from the chairman or a trustee of the body corporate is enough to authorise an addition or alteration to a unit, says David Schaefer of Trafalgar.
“This is not the case and unless you follow the correct procedure you can be forced to remove the structure and make good, at your own expense,” he says.
Building a deck, for instance, is considered an extension of your section.
For this to be done, an owner should ideally approach the managing agent, through the trustees, to determine the correct procedure to be followed before embarking on the project.
If the deck is to be built on an exclusive-use area, then the approval of the trustees is required.
All decisions from trustees must be passed by a majority vote at a trustee meeting or as a unanimous round robin resolution.
A certificate from a land surveyor or architect will be required, stating that there is not a deviation of more than 10 percent in the proportional quota of the relevant section as a result of this extension.
“If the new deck increases your floor area by more than 10 percent, you will need the approval of owners in the form of a special resolution,” says Schaefer.
“You also need municipal p l a n a p p r o v a l , a mended sectional title plans, and a certificate of consent from a conveyancer.”
Schaefer says the rule concerning any interference with common property, such as alterations and additions is that individual owners may not deal with common property. This is because the common property is owned by all members of the body corporate in equal shares.
“To erect a deck on common property, a special resolution of body corporate members is required. Plans must be passed and the sectional plans amended and registered with the new proportional quotas.
“The cost of having the amended sectional plans drawn up and obtaining all the approvals and registration will all be for the owner’s account and should be included in the budget for the deck.
“Approaching the managing agent before starting a project of this nature can save everybody a lot of time, energy and heartache, and ensure the financial investment in your section is money well spent.”
CONSENT: If the new deck will increase your floor area by more than 10 percent, you need approval from the other owners.