EXTENDING YOUR SECTION IN A SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Marisa Ackhurst

If you are an owner of a Sectional Title Unit in a Sectional Title Scheme you are subject to more rules and regulations than you might be aware of.

What is a sectional title unit?

When you buy into a sectional title complex, you purchase a section or sections and an undivided share of the common property. Your section together with your undivided share in and to the common property are collectively known as a unit. A full title property, on the other hand, describes the transfer of full ownership rights when you own a property, which includes the building and the land it is built on.

The rules and regulations

Owners of property in a Sectional Title Scheme are subject to the rules and regulations of the Body Corporate and these rules and regulations are governed by the Sectional Titles Act, Act 95 of 1986 (“the Act”).

Section 5(4) of the Act states that the boundaries of each section are the centre lines of the walls, floors and ceilings that surround it. Each Sectional Title Scheme has a sectional plan which is permanently filed in the Deeds Office where the said Scheme is registered, and these plans are available to the public for inspection. Extensions to a unit include any alteration to your unit which increases its:

1. Boundaries
2. Floor area.

As soon as you extend the boundaries of your unit, you as the registered owner, will be required to comply with section 24 of the Act, which regulates the extension of a unit. Section 24(3) of the Act stipulates that an owner must first obtain a special resolution of the Body Corporate authorizing his proposed extension before he is allowed to affect the alterations.

You will have to obtain plans for the proposed alterations drawn up by a qualified architect. This is to ensure that the necessary municipal regulations are complied with. These plans will then have to be submitted to the respective local authority by the architect to have it approved. It is important to ensure that a new occupation certificate for the unit is issued by the local authority as well.

When the building plans are drawn up and approved, you will have to instruct a Land Surveyor to, in addition to your building plans, draw up a Sectional Plan of Extension of your respective unit. The Sectional Plan of Extension indicates your unit’s new size measured in square metres. This change will then need to be registered in the Deeds Office to ensure the existing sectional diagrams are replaced with the new sectional plan of extension of a unit and accurately captured and recorded in the Deeds Registry.

The Land Surveyor will also indicate your unit’s new participation quota as the participation quota is likely to have increased due to the extension. The participation quota is based on the floor space of the individual unit within the sectional scheme, and is used to calculate the levies due. If your extension causes a deviation of more than 10% in the participation quota of any unit in the scheme, then you will also need to get the consent of the mortgagee of every unit in the scheme. The Land Surveyor will issue a certificate confirming whether the extension caused a deviation of more than 10% in the participation quota or not.

The consequences of not following this procedure are serious for owners as they are likely to cause extensive delays if they ever would want to sell their unit in the future as well as the fact that illegal extensions can downgrade a building and increase the risk of insurance claims not being paid out.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH STRATEGIC PLANNING AND PROCUREMENT


Marquerite Schoeman

How do you go about planning your organization’s future? Do you take the necessary steps? Do you research enough? Do you employ the right personnel? Or do you just carry on and tirelessly hope to reach that profit margin by the end of the financial year?

These are just a few questions and sometimes even concerns that needs to be addressed regularly.

Strategic planning is vital to any organization’s survival irrespective the category of trade, it is the process of formulating and implementing decisions about an organization’s future direction in order to adapt to its ever-changing environment.

The formulation process is the process by which you decide where you want your organization to go to, what decisions must be made and when these decisions must be made in order to get there. In other words, it is the process of defining and understanding the business that you are in and can be summed up as follows:

• Formulation process scans the external environment and industry environment for changing conditions;
• It interprets the changing environment in terms of opportunities or threats;
• It analyses the organisation’s resource base for asset strengths and weaknesses;
• Defines the mission of the organisation by matching environmental opportunities and threats with resource strengths and weaknesses; and
• It sets goals for pursuing the mission based on top management values and sense of responsibility.

The outcome of this process results in the organization doing the right thing by producing goods and or services for which there is a clear and defined demand and or need in the external environment (market). When this occurs, we say that the organisation has been effective as measured by market responses such as sales, market share, customer satisfaction and repeat business.

The implementation process, on the other hand, translates the formulated plan into policies and procedures for ultimately achieving the grand decision of the organisation. Effective implementation results in stated objectives, action plans, timetables, policies and procedures and subsequently results in the organisation moving efficiently towards its mission and because this process involves all levels of the organisation, it results in the integration of all aspects of the organisation.

Now ask yourself, how do you go about planning your organisation’s future? Does it include the formulation and implementation processes and do you involve top, middle and lower-level management in these processes?

JJR Inc. can assist you. Arrange a consultation today to discuss.

WHEN TO CONSIDER CANCELLING YOUR CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS


Tjaart de Beer

When entering into a contract, albeit verbal or written, we assume that the parties involved reached consensus and that they are happy with the obligations each of them have committed to and will have to perform. However, life happens and, in some instances, not performing in terms of the contract may have dire consequences for the non-performing party.

One might think that cancelling a valid contract is as easy, but being able to do so will only be allowed in special circumstances. Cancelling a contract is in fact considered to be a special remedy available to the so-called innocent party, the one not in breach of performing in terms of the contract.

The contract, if written properly, will contain provisions according to which the parties thereto may cancel or terminate the contract. As mentioned, it is only under special circumstances that a contract to be cancelled, thus, the breach must be material or sufficiently serious. However, before cancelling the contract, those provisions of the Breach-clause must be strictly followed to afford the defaulting party a chance to rectify his or her breach, in failing to do so, and no other remedy will suffice, cancellation of the contract can be proceeded with. The provisions of the Breach-clause can be ignored only where the defaulting party repudiated the contract, unless otherwise determined by the contract.

As mentioned above the breach needs to be material of sufficiently serious, otherwise, cancellation will not be justified, then the innocent party will only be able to move for specific performance. This is a remedy by which the defaulting party is compelled to honour the contract and his or her obligations towards the innocent party.

Under normal circumstances, such as residential lease agreements and cell phone contracts, only to name the more familiar day-to-day contracts, where the consumer wishes to cancel the contract, the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (“the CPA”) has given the consumer, as defined and qualified in terms of the CPA, the opportunity to cancel fixed term contracts. Those contracts which are 12 months and longer.

In these instances, the consumer may provide the landlord or supplier 20 business days written notice of its intention to cancel the contract, BUT it must be borne in mind that the supplier is allowed to charge a “reasonable cancellation penalty”.

Section 14 of the CPA regulates the cancellation of fixed term contracts. The only point of contention is what will be considered as a reasonable cancellation penalty? Well, in most cases, in the specific industry the common practices determine what such penalties may be, but also, there is legislation, the Conventional Penalties Act which provides for the reduction of penalties by the court only if it emerges that penalties raised against a defaulting party is out of proportion; so, section 3 of this Act provides.

The Law of Contract can be tricky and it will always serve you best to consult with an attorney whom specialises in this field prior to making any drastic decisions.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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