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Common property maintenance

20 November 2003

The article warns against bodies corporate attempting to transfer responsibility for common property maintenance to individual owners.

In terms of section 44(1)(c) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986,
"An owner shall repair and maintain his section in a state of good repair and, in respect of an exclusive use area, keep it clean and in neat condition."

While in terms of section 37(1)(j), the functions of a body corporate shall include
"properly to maintain the common property (including elevators) and to keep it in a state of good and serviceable repair."

Apart from the purely legal aspects of common property maintenance imagine the mess and loss of uniformity of appearance if there was no coordination between owners as to when and how their patch of common wall was to be painted?

Appearance aside, further complications abound, such as how could one implement the duty of the body corporate in section 37(1)(o) "to keep in a state of good and serviceable repair and properly maintain the plant, machinery, fixtures and fitting used in connection with the common property and sections" if it was decided that individual owners were to be responsible?

A sectional title scheme is a community and the owners are therefore under a joint obligation to repair and maintain the common property.

Article on Property24

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