Sectional Title Ownership
SECTIONAL TITLE ownership (Stata Title (Australia) and Condimoiums (USA)), is the ownership of property jointly with other owners of the building or buildings situated on land and are most commonly Apartment Buildings, Townhouses, retirement villages and leisure establishments.
An Owner of a unit within a SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME owns not only the allocated sections (apartment/Garage/store etc) but also an undivided share of the COMMON PROPERTY as well as an EXCLUSIVE USE AREA that has been allocated for his or hers sole use and enjoyment.
The Ownership of the Sectional Title Unit together with the undivided share of the Common property is reflected in a Certificate of Registered Title which is registered in the DEEDS OFFICE together with a Notarial Deed of Cession which will reflect Ownership of the Exclusive Use Area. All Sectional Title Schemes are registered in the Deeds Office as well as the owners of all the Sections in the Scheme.
A SECTIONAL TITLE PLAN, is prepared before the opening of a SECTIONAL TITLE REGISTER. The plan indicates the SECTION as well as the extent thereof together with all the common property thereon as well as those areas which have been allocated as EXCLUSIVE USE AREAS. All the measurements of the SECTIONS are noted on a schedule known as the “PARTICIPATION QUOTA” which will be used to determine the Owners voting rights s well as the liability for the payment of Levies. These plans are obtainable for the Local SURVEYOR GENERALS OFFICE.
It is important to note that EXCLUSIVE USE AREAS may not necessarily be indicated on the Sectional Title Plans as only those created in terms of Section 27 of the Act are noted. The Body corporate can allocate Exclusive Use Area in terms of the RULES OF THE SCHEME.
The SECTIONAL TITLES ACT 1986 ("The Act"), regulates the development and ownership as well as the Control and Management of the Sectional Title Scheme. The MANAGEMENT AND CONDUCT RULES are at the outset, unless amended by the DEVELOPER are commonly known as the Statutory Rules of which certain provisions thereof may be amended by either a UNANIMOUS or SPECIAL resolution of the BODY CORPORATE.
All OWNERS are members of the Body Corporate who appoint TRUSTEES to administer on their behalf the Sectional Title Scheme. These Trustees have a fiduciary duty to protect the members interests of the scheme but do not have the authority to interfere with the Owners rights to Ownership of the Unit or the Common property unless due procedure is followed. The Trustees usually appoint a MANAGING AGENT to administer and manage the Sectional Title Scheme on their behalf. There services include the collection of levies, management of the Common Property and assisting the Trustees in enforcing the Rules of the Body Corporate. MANAGING AGENTS will also attend to the financial management of the scheme
The Sectional Title Unit holder, pays a LEVY to the BODY CORPORATE or its' Managing Agent which is determined annually at the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the BODY CORPORATE where the ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS are presented to the members.
A BUDGET is prepared, tabled and discussed in addition to the INSURANCE REPLACEMENT COST of the registered Sections and the Common Property. The levy is used to pay the annual running expenses of the Body Corporate which includes Rates and Taxes, electricity, water, repairs and maintenance, insurance premiums, management fees etc.
Sectional Title Ownership in South Africa has become one of the most affordable forms of property ownership. However, the legislation which effects this industry and ownership is often the result of various legal opinion especially as a result of the lack of Jurisprudence. Sectional title disputes arise which are in the first instant usually resolved by Arbitration.
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