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Owning a Sectional Title property

Category RealADVICE

Buying a home is a challenging process. Many first time buyers are often unaware of the types of property, hidden costs, as well types of ownership that are available when looking for the perfect home. Buying a sectional title home is ideal for many as it alleviates the stress of maintaining and managing a common property.

What are sectional title properties?
A sectional title property can be classified as ownership of sections of buildings or development within a larger scheme to allow for each section of the building to be individually owned. These sections are generally governed by a Body Corporate - a collective name given to all the owners of units within that building.

A designated trustee within the Body Corporate is in charge of duties such as collecting monthly levies to pay for insurance, rates, taxes, and other local municipality charges. Furthermore, they are also tasked with arranging meetings, ensuring that the owners and tenants comply with the building rules, as well as enforcing compliance with the Sectional Titles Act.

What is the Sectional Titles Act?
According to the South African Government the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 exists to
- provide for the division of buildings into sections and common property and for the acquisition of separate ownership in sections coupled with joint ownership in common property;
- the control of certain incidents attaching to separate ownership in sections and joint ownership in common property;
- the transfer of ownership of sections and the registration of sectional mortgage bonds over, and real rights in, sections;
- the conferring and registration of rights in, and the disposal of common property;
- the establishment of bodies corporate to control common property and for that purpose to apply rules; and
- the establishment of a sectional titles regulation board; and
- to provide for incidental matters.

Advantages of owning a sectional title property
In comparison to sectional title properties, the owner of a freehold property is liable to all costs of the home and land, as well as the upkeep of the pavement and parameter walls. The owner also has to ensure that their gardening, refuse, insurance, and maintenance is all taken care of on time. Many homeowners would rather avoid the stress of these duties and therefore choose to own a sectional title property. Other reasons include:

A secure sanctuary
In most sectional title developments there are excellent security around the building and at the entrance. Often, access to the building is controlled either by a boom and guard or a disk system. Having tight security provides the owner with a secure sanctuary and the ability to go on with their daily lives without any worry.

Fixed costs
While owners of freehold properties can be surprised by random maintenance costs, sectional title unit owners pay a fixed monthly cost. This levy covers costs for insurance premiums, maintenance of the common property, as well as the wages and salaries of cleaners, security, and other staff involved in maintaining the common property.

Other notable advantages of owning a sectional title property rather than a freehold property include;
- Property taxes are lower than freehold homes.
- Availability of a variety of community sports and leisure facilities.
- A community lifestyle filled with lots of social contacts.
- The companionship of close neighbours.

There also are disadvantages of owning a sectional title property. These are:
- Restrictive rules and regulations.
- Depending on the area there may be high community levies.
- Overuse of communal facilities. i.e. the use of the swimming pool during the holiday season.
- Rude or noisy neighbours.
- Insufficient parking.

At RealNet Townhouses our dedicated and specialised team has in-depth experience with assisting homeowners to secure their sectional title properties. Contact us today to find out more about our tailored services.

Author: RealNet

Submitted 15 Aug 19 / Views 766