Sectional Titles

Sectional Titles Amendment Bill

Proposed changes to Sectional Titles legislation could open the doors to possible abuse of exclusive use areas. The Sectional Titles Amendment Bill (10 of 2005) introduces a number of amendments to the Sectional Titles Act of 1986. These include an amendment of the definition of ''exclusive use area''; an increase in the percentage deviation in the participation quota as a result of the extension of any section in a scheme; to provide for the registration of a plan of extension where a scheme is extended by the addition of a section; to extend the types of real rights which may be registered against a portion of common property; to include imprisonment in a penalty provision; and to provide anew for the non-joinder of members where judgment has been given against the body corporate; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Section 27(6) deals with exclusive use rights. Clause 4 of the amendment reads as follows:
Amendment of section 27 of Act 95 of 1986, as amended by section 17 of Act 63 of 1991, section 20 of Act 44 of 1997 and section 8 of Act 29 of 2003
4. Section 27 of the principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection
(6) of the following subsection:
''(6) A right to the exclusive use of a part of common property registered in favour of an owner of a section, shall for all purposes be deemed to be a right to urban immovable property [which admits of being mortgaged] over which a mortgage bond, lease contract or personal servitude of usufruct, usus or habitatio may be registered.''.

This amendment will allow an owner to enter into a lease contract in respect of the area and register a personal servitude of usufruct, usus or habitatio over it. This is okay, but problems will creep in because it allows for such rights to be granted to individuals who are not owners or members of the body corporate - people with a vested interest in the complex.

On the positive side, the bill amends the provisions of section 24(6)(d) of the Act. Here it is not clear whether the percentage deviation of a proposed extension of a floor area of a section in a scheme relates to the participation quota of the individual section concerned or to all the participation quotas of the sections in the scheme. Because the original 5 percent deviation did not justify the time and cost in obtaining consent from each of the mortgagees, this deviation percentage has now been increased to 10 percent.

Sectional Titles Amendment Bill

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