The most common sectional title queries (+ responses)

What does a sectional title owner actually own?

A sectional title owns a unit in the sectional title scheme, which consists of a section (i.e., flat or townhouse) and an undivided share (or percentage) of the common property.

Some parts of the common property can also be designated as exclusive use areas (i.e. parking bay or private garden)

How does voting at an AGM work?

There are different forms of voting at an AGM and this is dependent on the issue being voted on.

  • The first form of voting is normal majority resolution. This means the vote will be passed if the majority of the sectional title owners (determined by the value of their units or in number) vote for a certain resolution.
  • This is the most common way the body corporate votes on issues, i.e., when the body corporate votes for the trustees to be elected or to pass the annual budget.

 Can I nominate myself as a trustee?

There is nothing in the STSM Act preventing anyone from nominating themselves as a trustee – unless you are disqualified in terms of the Act to be a trustee – and unless there is a reason for your vote not to count on an ordinary resolution, such as a judgement or CSOS order against you.

Can an owner attend a trustees’ meeting?

An owner is permitted to attend a trustees’ meeting. They can speak but do not have a vote at that meeting.

Do I require authorisation to extend my section?

An owner who wants to extend the limits of their section must first obtain the consent of the body corporate by a special resolution of the members.

The owner applying for permission will be responsible for the costs of amending the sectional plan of the scheme, re­calculating all the participation quotas and arranging to have the amended plan registered.

Who determines how each owner pays off their special levies?

Depending on the circumstances, the body corporate may implement a special levy on top of the normal monthly levy. This may be used to cover any unforeseen expenses which were not included in the approved expenses which were estimated in the last AGM.

In accordance with the prescribed Management Rule 31(4) of the Act, if a special levy is deemed necessary, the trustees will need to determine whether it will be paid in one lump sum or through installments.

Can I refuse to pay my levies?

Owners have a legal duty to pay them in full and on time. Non-payment by one or more owners can put a significant real strain on the scheme’s finances and recovering those costs is absolutely vital for the upkeep and maintenance of the scheme.

What is the CSOS levy?

The CSOS levy is a levy collected by a community scheme from the owners in the scheme and paid to the CSOS in terms of Section 29(1)(b) of the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act No. 9 of 2011, which came into effect on 7 October 2016.

Each scheme is obligated to collect the prescribed CSOS levy from every owner in the scheme and to pay such an amount over to the CSOS on a quarterly basis.

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