Exclusive use areas (EUAs) in sectional title schemes are parts of the common property whose use has been granted to certain owners for their exclusive use.
And yet, says Berry Everitt, managing director of the Chas Everitt International property group, they are often misunderstood and the cause of serious disharmony and even disputes among residents.
“An EUA could be a parking bay, a carport, a lock-up garage, a storeroom, a private garden or even a balcony, but it is important to realise that it is not defined by limited access or non-use by anyone else,” he says.
“Essentially an EUA must be specifically created and protected by the rules of the scheme, or specifically registered in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, in which case it will be shown on the sectional plan and can even be bonded – and bought and sold among members of the body corporate.
Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, Everitt says the second important thing that sectional title owners really need to know about EUAs is that the Sectional Titles Act provides for any owner who has the benefit of an EUA, either registered or rule-created, to make an extra contribution to the levy fund to cover costs of rates and taxes, insurance and maintenance.
“And this extra contribution must not be confused with a normal levy. It is not calculated according to a participation quota, as EUAs do not have quotas. The calculation is based on actual costs incurred for the EUA.”