What you need to know about the rules that govern behaviour in sectional title schemes: Part 2

In part 1 of this blog, we discussed the three P’s: People, parking and pets which are generally the biggest points of contention in sectional title schemes.

Aside from the three P’s, there are five further rules providing guidance in how to effectively govern behaviour in sectional title schemes. These are:

  1. Waste disposal

Refuse disposal that is not controlled can lead to very undesirable conditions. Residents are responsible for placing their refuse in bins in the designated refuse area and are not allowed to leave any refuse on the common property as this may pose a health and safety risk to other residents.

  1. Damage to common property

The common property in a scheme belongs to the owners in undivided shares. Therefore, owners are not allowed to deface the common property unless they have approval to do so. Permission is automatically granted for the installation of protective items, such as burglar bars, given that the materials being used have been approved by the body corporate.

Owners who deface common property in any manner will be held liable for the costs of reinstating the common property facade.

  1. Appearance of the section and exclusive use area

This is similar to the previous rule in that it also deals with common property and exclusive use areas. Installing items on common property or exclusive use areas may not be done unless approved by the trustees. Trustees need to check if they are actually authorised to grant such permission via special general meeting or not.

  1. Storage of flammable materials

As per the building’s insurance policy, residents are only allowed to store certain flammable items in their units or exclusive use areas. Any flammable material other than gas cylinders for domestic heating, and fuel for generators and vehicles, may only be stored if trustees have given their express permission.

  1. Pest control

Owners are responsible for pest control inside their unit. Wooden flooring, for example, requires regular inspections to identify wood borer species and to address any possible damage.

Owners who do not attend to this requirement can be forced to do so by the trustees and will be held responsible for any damage caused. Left untreated, it can spread to other units in the complex, causing further damage.


Managing a scheme with many owners can be challenging, especially if a scheme does not adhere to its rules to guide them. The rules can only be effective if it was carefully composed and designed to best serve the specific needs of the body corporate.

While it is vital that trustees are involved in drawing up the rules, it is also prudent to enlist the valuable help of a sectional title attorney.