Sectional Titles Act amended

The Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 has been “extensively amended” by Act No 11 of 2010, which was assented to by the president on December 03 2010.

“Most of the amendments are, however, of a technical nature, although there are some that are of importance, particularly to developers and managing agents,” says law firm Garlicke & Bousfield.

Section 5 of the Act, which deals with the definition of the boundaries of a section by reference to floor, walls and ceilings thereof, now provides that any window, door or other structure that divides a section from another section or from common property shall be considered to form part of such floor, wall or ceiling.

Paragraph (d) of section 24 (6) of the Act, which deals with the extension of a section, has been subdivided into sub-paragraphs (d)(i) and (d)(ii).

Sub-paragraph (d)(i), which deals with the extension of a section where there is a deviation of not more than 10% in the participation quota, no longer requires that a certificate stating that the deviation is not more than 10% be issued by the conveyancer.

“This must be done by a land surveyor or architect and must deal specifically with a deviation in the participation quota of the section that is being extended, not any section,” says Simphiwe Maphumulo, a director in the property and conveyancing department at the law firm.

Sub-paragraph (d)(ii) requires that, if deviation in the participation quota is more than 10%, a certificate must still be issued by a conveyancer.

Section 24 has been further amended by the insertion of a new sub-section (6A), which requires that, if deviation is more than 10% of the participation qouta, notice be sent by registered post to each mortgagee in a scheme advising of the details of the proposed extension and its impact on the security of such mortgagee. If a mortgagee is a bank, such notice must be sent to its headquarters.

Section 25 of the Act now allows sectional title schemes to be extended by adding exclusive use areas only.

“Furthermore a developer can now agree with the body corporate, if authorised by unanimous resolution, to the further extension of the period of extension of the scheme,” Maphumulo adds.

A new paragraph (bA) has been inserted in section 37(1) of the Act.

“This entitles a body corporate to require from a developer, who is entitled to extend the scheme in terms of a right reserved, to make such reasonable contribution to the fund as may be necessary to defray the cost of rates and taxes, electricity, water, insurance and maintenance of the part or parts of the common property affected by the reservation of the right.”

Subsection (2) of section 37 now states that liability for the contribution by owners towards levies accrues from the date of the passing of a resolution to that effect by the trustees of the body corporate.

“Upon a change of ownership of a unit, the new owner (purchaser) becomes liable for the pro-rata payment of such contributions from the date of change of ownership. This means there will no longer be a need for a tripartite agreement to protect the body corporate since the new owner is bound by the terms of the Act, as amended, to pay his pro rata contribution towards levies from the date of transfer,” Maphumulo says.

Download Sectional Title Amendment Act here

Article by Simphiwe Maphumulo, Director of Lawfirm Garlicke & Bousfield.