Sec­tional ti­tle ad­di­tions need ap­proval from all con­cerned

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.

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