11 Actions trustees can approve in sectional title
Category Community Schemes (ST & HOA Scheme)
Prior to 2011, the trustees were empowered to approve many actions within sectional titles schemes. For example, the trustees were entitled to let a portion of the common property to any owner or occupier of a section for a period of less than ten years. Such a lease agreement can only be entered into now on the authority of a special resolution of the body corporate. Another example is that the trustees could consent to the placement or construction of any structure or building improvement to an exclusive use area, such as the installation of a gazebo or swimming pool. This action can only be authorised by an ordinary resolution of the body corporate, and provision is made for the imposition of conditions and the withdrawal of the consent.
Since the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011 (“the STSM Act”) came into operation on 7 October 2016, the list of actions that the trustees are entitled to consent to has been reduced to eleven actions.
1. Subdivision and consolidation of sections
The STSM Act provides only one circumstance in which the trustees' consent is required. Section 7(2) of the STSM Act states that the trustees of the body corporate must receive and may consent to applications for the subdivision of a section or consolidation of two or more sections, made by the owners of sections.
2. Keeping of pets
The Prescribed Conduct Rules (“PCRs”), contained in Annexure 2 to the Regulations made under the STSM Act, contain various circumstances that require the consent of the trustees. PCR 1 states that he owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent, which must not be unreasonably withheld, keep an animal, reptile or bird in a section or on the common property. The trustees may provide for any reasonable condition in this regard, and may withdraw any consent if the owner or occupier of a section breaches any condition imposed.
3. Refuse bins
PCR 2(2) gives the trustee the discretion to decide what type of dustbin for refuse is acceptable and must designate where on the common property that bin must be kept. PCR 2(3)(a) gives the trustees the power to designate the place and time that the owners or occupiers must move the dustbin.
4. Parking vehicles
The written consent of the trustees, as well as the duration of such permission, is required before an owner or occupier of a section may park a vehicle, allow a vehicle to stand or permit a visitor to park or stand a vehicle on any part of the common property other than a parking bay allocated to that section or a parking bay allocated for visitors’ parking (except in the case of an emergency) in terms of PCR 3.
5. Damage common property
In terms of PCR 4(1) the owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent, mark, paint, drive nails, screws or other objects into, or otherwise damage or deface a structure that forms part of the common property.
6. Safety device and screen
In terms of PCR 4(2) the trustees have the discretion to approve, in writing, the design, colour, style and materials of a locking or safety device to protect the section against intruders, or a screen to prevent entry of animals or insects, if the device or screen is soundly built.
7. Change external appearance
The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent, make a change to the external appearance of the section or any exclusive use area allocated to it unless the change is minor and does not detract from the appearance of the section or the common property in terms of PCR 5(1).
8. Erect washing line
The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent, erect washing lines on common property in terms of PCR 5(2)(a).
9. Hang laundry
The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent hang washing, laundry or other items in a section or any exclusive use area allocated to it if the articles are visible from another section or the common property, or from outside the schemein terms of PCR 5(2)(b).
The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent display a sign, notice, billboard or advertisement if the article is visible from another section or the common property, or from outside the scheme in terms of PCR 5(2)(c).
11. Storage of flammable substances
The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees’ written consent, store a flammable substance in a section or on the common property unless the substance is used or intended for use for domestic purposes in terms of PCR 6(1).