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Conduct rules most commonly amended by bodies corporate

Conduct rules are rules that have been created to encourage harmonious living in a sectional title scheme and to uphold the standards by which the buildings and other areas in a scheme are maintained.

There are eight prescribed conduct rules as laid out in the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act; they are:

  1. Keeping of animals, reptiles and birds
  2. Refuse and waste disposal
  3. Vehicles
  4. Damage to common property
  5. Appearance of section and exclusive use area
  6. Storage of flammable materials
  7. Behaviour of occupiers and visitors in sections and on common property
  8. Eradication of pests

For a complete list and explanation of these rules, you can go to the CSOS website.

 

Amending conduct rules

The conduct rules that are most commonly amended by bodies corporate are the keeping of animals, vehicles and the behaviour of occupiers and visitors.

Keeping of animals, reptiles and birds: The potential noise factor presented by animals – especially when unattended – is seen as the biggest problem. Dogs can be noisy and uncontrollable, especially during the day when owners are at work.

The prescribed rule requires owners or residents to get written permission from the trustees to keep a pet in their unit. A request to the trustees may not be unreasonably withheld. Approval by the trustees may include certain requirements the owner must adhere to.

The most common amendment to this rule is to prevent residents from having pets in the complex.

 

Vehicles: Sectional title schemes do not always have enough parking available for all the residents on the grounds of the scheme. Residents with two or more vehicles often need to park one or more of their vehicles in the street.

The prescribed rule for vehicles is that owners or residents may not park their vehicles on common property or parking bays allocated for visitors without written consent of the trustees.

Bodies corporate often end up amending this rule to permanently prevent residents from parking on undesignated common property or in the visitor bays.

 

Behaviour of occupiers and visitors in sections and on common property: Although the prescribed rule is clear that residents or visitors must not make noise or disturb other residents, it is not clear on the times when noise is not acceptable.

The prescribed conduct rule requires owners and residents to be aware of their living environment and not to cause any noise or disturbance at any time.

Bodies corporate can amend this rule to ensure that residents are restricted from making a noise or being a disturbance during certain hours of the day.

 

It is important to remember that any rule a body corporate proposes to amend must be fair and reasonable to all owners in the scheme. Even if the proposed amendments to a rule is approved by the members at a special general meeting, the amendments must still be reviewed and approved by the Community Schemes Ombud Service. Until such time, the amendments to any rule remains unenforceable.

 

Another blog you may enjoy: Who is responsible for the maintenance of exclusive use areas?