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Know your rights when living in a sectional title scheme

Sectional title scheme advantages & disadvantages

A sectional title scheme offers many advantages to those who are a part of them, but this aside one needs to also consider the disadvantages. 

Sectional Title Scheme

When the body corporate chairperson is under the notion that he/she has more power than any other resident living within the scheme then it could give rise to many uncomfortable situations.

Apart from having the decisive influence in the event of a voting decision reaching a deadlock, the chairperson has no other privileges afforded to him/her and, in fact, such a person has the same rights as all the other residents within the complex. 

Sectional title scheme rules

The rules governing the scheme are not able to be amended by the chairperson whenever he/she feels like it. The chairperson is also not entitled to forcefully persuade the owners within the scheme to meet their demands. 

However, it is a common occurrence to hear of owners who have been subjected to a domineering body corporate chairperson. Such persons resort to emotional abuse to coerce other owners into subjection. 

It is a sad case when owners forget about the rights that are afforded them which no one, not even the body corporate, can take away. 

It is important to remember that the body corporate are just a group of people who have the responsibility of ensuring the scheme is run correctly and efficiently. 

As an owner, your voice is important even if you are not an appointed trustee within the scheme. Thus you should never fall into the trap of thinking that you do not have a say in the schemes matters.

This highlights the need for each owner to familiarise themselves with the Sectional Title Act so as to be better equipped to challenge the body corporate or chairperson when they abuse their title. 

Sectional Title Scheme managing agent

Another possible way of combating such situations would be employing a management agent whose job it is to manage the affairs of the body corporate. 

As experts, they are best suited to provide guidance and advice for those unfamiliar with the law so as to ensure that they keep to the right path.

As an owner within a scheme you are afforded rights and should not feel afraid to exercise such rights when disputes arise. While it is common for disputes to arise, there are ways to resolve such issues legally. 

Having a mediator could prove to be beneficial however such a service does not come free. 

Being present at all the important meetings is the best way to be informed. This is especially necessary when the decisions that are being discussed at a particular meeting have an effect on you being able to sell your property. 

Generally, South African homeowners are able to live with little to no issues arising within their sectional title complexes. However when such issues arise it is easy for them to escalate out of hand. 

Thus, being aware of the rights that are afforded you is essential, especially if an issue that springs up has an impact on the investment you made. 

Van Deventers & Van Deventers Incorporated - property lawyers Cape Town

For expert legal advice on your sectional title scheme please contact us.

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