sectional title unit

Who is responsible for maintenance in a sectional title scheme?

Maintenance issues in Sectional Title Schemes can lead to heated debates with questions around who is ultimately responsible for repairs and costs being very common.

The Sectional Titles Scheme Management Act 8 of 2011 (“The STSMA”) stipulates that the body corporate must maintain the common property while unit owners are responsible for maintaining own sections. Exclusive Use Areas are typically the responsibility of both the owner and the body corporate.

Below we detail the different types of property and who is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and costs thereof.

Common Property

What is common property?

Common property is property that does not form part of a section and includes the land in the scheme, which includes elevators, the outside of the building, roof, common gardens, parking bays, driveways, security system, communal passages and walkways, staircases, and shared swimming pools.

Who is responsible?

The body corporate is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and cost of repairs to the common property, which includes any other area of sectional property that is not considered a section. Owners are not responsible for the maintenance of the exterior of their unit nor the maintenance of pipes, wires, cables and ducts in a section that also serve any other section or the common property. The maintenance of common property is covered by the levies paid by the owners.

A section

What is a section?

A section extends from the center line (median line) of the walls, floors and ceilings, and can include any defined balcony or projection, as well as anything inside the unit that supplies a utility service to that section such as pipes, wires, cables.

Who is responsible?

The maintenance of sections is the sole responsibility of the owner and are required to keep their section in a ‘good state of repair’.  An owner will be responsible for any internal repairs and maintenance, painting, plumbing within the section.

Exclusive use areas

What is exclusive use area?

An exclusive use area is a part of the common property which has been reserved for the exclusive right of use by an owner, such as garages, parking and garden.

Who is responsible?

The body corporate is responsible for the maintenance and repairs to exclusive use areas while the owner of an exclusive use area must bear the financial cost of such maintenance and repair, and should also ensure that the area is kept in a neat and clean condition. The Sectional Titles Act requires the body corporate to recover all amounts which it has spent on maintenance and repair of exclusive use areas from the owner.

Shared maintenance

What is shared maintenance?

This is made up of the foundations, shared walls between the sections as well as the windows and doors in the exterior walls of sections that are part of the common property and part of the owner’s section

Who is responsible?

Both the owner and the body corporate is responsible, and the costs are split equally for the maintenance and repair.


It is important that sectional title schemes have a reserve fund in place for unforeseen maintenance and repairs of the common property.


Author: Danielle Crewe, Senior Property Manager (Sectional Title)