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Buying a Sectional Title unit: What renovations may be made?

BY BARDINE HALL (BA LLB) - JULY 7, 2017
Buying a Sectional Title unit: What renovations may be made?

When you plan renovations to your sectional title unit it is important to establish whether you require the approval of the Body Corporate or Trustees of the Sectional Title Scheme. You may also be required to register the amendments to the sectional plan of your unit at the deeds office.

Internal renovations

As a rule of thumb internal renovations do not require the approval of the Body Corporate (all owners of units in the Scheme are members of the Body Corporate) or Trustees.

The plans also do not have to be registered with the deeds office. However, an owner may not do anything that impairs the structural integrity of the building.

There also are implied servitudes of support between sections. It will therefore be important to check that your renovations do not affect these servitudes or any load-bearing walls. Expert building advice should be obtained in this respect.

External renovations

External renovations could either lead to the consolidation of two neighbouring sections that you own into one unit or the subdivision of your section into two units. For such renovations the consent of the Trustees is required.

If there is a bond over the unit, the consent of the bank is required. Subdivision or consolidation plans must be drawn up by an architect, be approved by the Surveyor–General and must be registered at the deeds office.

External renovations could also lead to the extension of your unit for instance by addition of another bedroom or a garage. In such instances a special resolution of the Body Corporate (i.e. owners of units in the scheme) is required or the written consent of 75% of all owners of sections in the scheme.

If the extension increases the square metres of your unit with more than 10%, the consent of all bondholders in respect of sections in the scheme must also be obtained. The plans must be drawn up by an architect, be approved by the Surveyor–General and must be registered at the deeds office.

The approval of the municipality may also be required. There may also be transfer duty payable depending on the value of the extension.

To make sure you follow the correct legal processes and for assistance with registration of these plans at the deeds office, contact Goldberg & de Villiers Inc, the Directors in our Property Law Department, namely Adri Ludorf, Tracey Watson-Gill and Nicolas Mitchell, assisted by Bardine Hall will gladly assist you with any of your Property Law-related needs.

Visit www.goldbergdevilliers.co.za today.