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31 Oct 2014

WHAT YOU OWN IN A SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME

If you invest in a sectional title unit (like a flat, townhouse, etc), just educate yourself on what you own and what you can and cannot do. I got a letter on one of my rental townhouses with an invoice attached. It annoyed me so much to think that the administration company for the Home Owners Association (HOA) doesn't even know what they are doing.
Dear Sir / Madam

RE: INVOICE OWNERS RESPONSIBILITY – x BODY CORPORATE – UNIT x

We address this letter to you on instruction of the Trustees of the aforementioned Body Corporate.

Please find attached the invoice from Plumb xxx for the recent unblocking of a drain at your unit.

Kindly note the account from Plumb xxx is the owner’s responsibility.

Please take note that your levy account will be debited in the amount of R1152.68. Further note if monthly levy payments are made by debit order, this amount will be deducted in full unless instructed otherwise in writing.

Trust you find the above in order.

Yours Faithfully

Off course I didn't find the above in order. I responded immediately by email and followed up within seconds with a phone call. That's how furious I was. Bear in mind, I never even authorised this expenditure. I was never consulted prior to the appointment of the plumber.

Good Day xxx

I don't know anything about this blocked drain invoice. Was this done inside my unit or in the outside of it? Was it my unit's fault. No one informed me of this blocked drain. Receiving this bill is the first time I hear of this problem. Even my tenant was never contacted.

I would have expected to be informed to make my own arrangements if the problem was inside my unit. (Please refer to the Sectional Title Act)

The drain outside my unit, which services the whole block can get blocked for various reasons that are not necessarily my fault. This problem is not my unit's nor mine. This is the problem for the whole sectional title complex.

Regards,

Like I said, I called the lady and she said they will talk to the complex trustees. They really got back to me the following morning with:
Good day

The trustees have confirmed that they will cover the cost.
The cost will thus be reversed from your account.

Regards

What you own in a sectional title scheme

What you buy and own in a complex or sectional title scheme is:

  • the mid-point of outer or dividing walls. Where bricks are double, you only own the internal brick. You don’t own the garden, the garage and parking space but you get a right to use it.
  • the inside part of the ceiling and nothing above the ceiling. I heard that the amendments include the geyser or allow owners to own or partly own the geyser. Meaning the HOA can decide on this and have you liable for repairs and maintenance of the geyser.
  • upper part of the floor, and not the foundation.
The driveway, garden, swimming pool, corridors, parking bay, any external structures and plumbing that is outside your unit is the HOA’s property. These are referred to as the common property. You just have to be clear on that one. If they see a plant they don’t like in your garden, they have a say.

Even if you have a property manager, its your responsibility to know what you own in the sectional title scheme and what your responsibility is. Ignorance is fatal!

All the best with your Financial Freedom search,

SISA

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