Ricochet News

Who must approve renovations to a Sectional Title Unit?

By Bardine Hall (BA LLB) - Dec 19, 2017
Who must approve renovations to a Sectional Title Unit?

Renovations to a sectional title unit may, depending on the extent of the renovations, require various approvals.

Renovations that do not require approval

Internal renovations

Usually internal renovations do not require the approval of the Body Corporate (owners of units in the complex) or the Trustees of the complex.

The rules of a complex may however require owners to notify the Trustees of the commencement of repair work to a unit and allow trustees to inspect same.

An owner may not do anything that impairs the structural integrity of the building. Expert building advice should be obtained in this respect.

Should an owner change the internal floorplan of a unit by enlarging the internal floor area- i.e. adding another internal/mezzanine floor level or loft area for storage space, further approval will be required.

Renovations that require approval

Changing the external appearance

Type of renovation: A major renovation to the external appearance of a unit that may detract from the appearance of the unit or common property will require approval.

Approval required:

Trustees: The trustees must approve major changes to the outward appearance of a unit.

Extensions

Type of renovation:

The following alterations are considered to be extensions of a unit and require approval:

  • An increase in the boundaries of a unit
  • An increase of the floor area of a unit

The addition of a room or another storey will typically lead to an increase in the boundaries and floor area of a unit.

Approvals required:

1. Municipality. The building plans must be approved by the municipality.

2. Body Corporate. The Body Corporate must approve an extension of a unit by a special resolution.  Alternatively 75% of the owners may consent to the extension in writing.

3. Bondholder of unit.An owner must obtain consent for the alterations from any bank that has a bond over the unit.

4. Other bondholders. If the extension will change the participation quota of the unit with more than 10%, the consent of all the bondholders in respect of other units in the complex must be obtained.  

5. Surveyor–General.Once the building work has been completed, the owner must appoint a land surveyor or architect to prepare a draft sectional plan of extension of the unitand obtain the Surveyor General’s approval of the plan.

6. Deeds Office-Once the plans have been approved by the Surveyor-General the owner must instruct a conveyancer to register the sectional plan at the Deeds Office.

For more information or advice contact us at Goldberg & de Villiers Inc Tel: 041 501 9800.