09 Jul Understanding different types of exclusive use areas
One of the most confusing terms in sectional title is exclusive use areas (EUAs). Owners with exclusive use rights are often the first who find themselves unfamiliar with their obligations regarding EUAs.
Types of exclusive use areas
EUAs can be defined as areas that are part of the common property of a scheme for the exclusive use of certain owners. An owner enjoying exclusive rights to an area is responsible for keeping it clean and tidy, and pays a levy to the body corporate to cover any maintenance required to the area.
EUAs do not have any participation quota (PQ) value and are not used in calculating quorums or votes at general meetings.
Two types of EUAs exist – real right EUAs and personal right EUAs.
Real right EUAs
These areas are delineated on the scheme’s sectional title plans and summarised in a schedule page with applicable sizes in square meters. They are also indicated on the owner’s title deed and registered at the Deeds Office.
The biggest advantage of a real right EUA is that it has a monetary value and can be sold. It is important to note that real right EUAs can only be sold to other section owners in the same scheme and not to external parties.
Personal right EUAs
EUAs as personal rights are normally created by the developer in terms of the management rules of the scheme. Management rules are difficult to amend because of the quorum and voting requirements which secures the owner’s exclusive use right even more.
The rules will indicate which section has personal right of use of a specific EUA. On transfer of a section that has a personal right EUA, the EUA will be ceded to the new owner of the section and no transfer takes place, as in the case of a real right. Accordingly, personal rights are not indicated on a title deed and not registered at the Deeds Office.
Personal right EUAs cannot be sold and have no monetary value to the user of the area.
Maintenance of EUAs
In the event an owner fails to keep the EUA clean and tidy, the body corporate may – after requesting the owner to do so – clean the area and recover the costs from the owner. The body corporate may also approach the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) for support in getting the owner (with use of the EUA) to clean the area or reimburse the body corporate for costs incurred in doing it on their behalf.
All EUAs are common property that includes usage rights to those owners with access. Identifying the type of EUA is important as this helps to clarify the area’s value to the owner. Reviewing scheme documents such as the sectional title plans and the management rules will help owners to identify all the EUAs in the scheme, to differentiate between the different types and to ascertain to which owners the personal right EUAs are allocated.