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How private is your section really?

One of the many benefits of living in a community scheme is the security but sometimes, access to sections is needed for legitimate reasons and cannot be reasonably refused.

Maintenance and inspection

The structure of a multi-level complex is of such a nature that it involves various ducts with pipes, cables and other components essential in supplying services to the individual apartments in the complex.

Each apartment has a servitude that allows services such as telephone lines, sewer pipes, water supply lines, electrical power cables, etc. to reach each unit. Occasionally, these services need to be inspected and maintained by specialists or contractors. This is normally arranged by the body corporate – in writing – where they advise the owner that access is required to their section and for what purpose. The request must be reasonable and arranged to take place at a time suitable to the owner. Owners may not prevent access to their sections when reasonably requested.

Compliance inspection

The trustees, managing agent or any other authorised person may also require access to a section to inspect the section – sometimes to see that the owner or its occupant is observing the provisions of the act and the rules of the body corporate. Again, the owner must be informed in writing to request access and to state the purpose of the appointment. Access may also be required by state-run institutions such as the police services, fire services or ambulance services. The body corporate may not have any control when this kind of access is required – often at short or no notice.

Neighbours

Owners are within their right to refuse another owner in the scheme access to their section. Unless there is a specific and valid reason as indicated in the above paragraphs, owners of sections should enjoy a safe and secure lifestyle within the boundaries of the complex they live in.