Ensure exclusive use area corresponds with plan or rules

An interesting case of an older sectional title scheme in Johannesburg had to be dealt with by the property management company IHFM, where it was found that the sectional plan did not correspond with what was being used as exclusive use areas and common property,said Bauer.

When the building was initially built and registered as a sectional title scheme, there were certain things not clarified properly in the scheme’s rules, he said, which led to some of the parking bays being listed as exclusive use areas but others were marked as common property. Some of the garages were listed as part of sections but some garages were marked as exclusive use areas – even though they were attached to the unit. It was also found that there was a garage listed as common property.

“While it is unusual for this to happen,” he said, “it is not impossible because no one checked over the years whether the plan was 100% correct.”

It would be assumed (by estate agents and owners of units) that if a garage is attached to a unit, it belongs to that section but in this case, it was not so. IHFM then had to go through the long process of sifting through plans and rules to work out what belonged to each section and linking this via notarial deed to the title deeds of the sections.

How this particular case was brought to light was when an accident happened, involving a carport that was illegally erected was blown down in a bad storm, and subsequently caused damage to a neighbour’s car.

This led to an insurance claim which was covered by the body corporate’s insurance but when the owner of the unit demanded another carport be built the body corporate said no to the request, as it was common property and there should not have been a carport there. This then led to a dispute which uncovered the discrepancy in what was meant to be common property or exclusive use areas, said Bauer.

There have even been other cases where IHFM have found that door numbers of units or garages and section numbers are confused, he said.

Section 27 and 27 (a) of the Sectional Titles Act deals with how exclusive use areas are registered and this is usually via notarial deed or in the rules of the scheme, said Bauer. These should be checked by buyers considering acquiring a unit in a sectional title scheme – that what is being sold is the right thing. This will avoid confusion or disputes later.

Article from: www.sectionaltitlesa.co.za

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