The Pros and Cons of Sectional Titles That Property Owners Should Know | Legal Articles

 

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The Pros and Cons of Sectional Titles That Property Owners Should Know

Sectional titles have become popular among property owners over the last decade. Sectional titles tend to be more affordable, making it easier for young professionals to buy their own property.

Pros and Cons of Sectional Title Ownership

 

Additionally, sectional titles offer heightened security and a more communal way of living. However, there are pros and cons to sectional title ownership.

The advantages of sectional title ownership:

  • The owner of the unit automatically becomes part of the body corporate, which is the legal entity that owns and controls the common property in the sectional title scheme. The body corporate lays down the rules that have to be adhered to by all the owners.
  • Sectional titles remove the responsibility of having to pay for home insurance, and for the upkeep of the pavement, garden that may come with owning freehold properties. Instead, unit owners are responsible for paying monthly levies that are included in their insurance premiums, the maintenance of the common property area, the wages of staff that are involved in maintaining the common property (staff such as security guards or caretakers), as well as water and electricity that may be required for the common property. This, however, differs from complex to complex.
  • Since units are closer to each other, sectional titles have a sense of communal life, allowing interactions between neighbours. This can lead to the formation of close knit communities. It is also considered to be safer that freehold properties, because they generally have good perimeter and entrance security.
  • The cost of living in a sectional title is more affordable than in freehold properties, because the cost of maintaining the common property is shared by all of the owners.
  • Sectional title units are very popular in the rental market and are leased out easily. This eliminates the risk of an owner becoming indebted if he could no longer afford the bond/mortgage on his unit.

Disadvantages of sectional title ownership:

  • Unlike freehold property ownership, the owner of a unit is not in control of the entire property. Instead, the owner will have to comply with the rules as determined by the body corporate. The body corporate may adopt rules relating to the keeping of pets, and access to communal areas.
  • The rules and regulations of the complex can change at any time, and even if owners disagree with the rules, they do not have the power to change them individually.
  • Unit owners do not have the freedom to alter, renovate or expand their sections without the approval of body corporate.

Sectional title ownership

A sectional title can refer to anything from a semi-detached house, a town house, a flat or apartment to a subtype house. Ownership of sectional title properties involves various elements, provided that the unit consists of a section plus an undivided share in the common property.

The first element is the section that is exclusively owned by the owner thereof. The second element is the common property which is owned by all the owners in undivided shares. The third element is the right to exclusively use certain parts of the common property, such as the garage, a garden or a storeroom.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated – Property Law Attorneys Johannesburg | Cape Town

Should you have any queries relating to sectional titles, contact the legal professionals at Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated.

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