Management of a body corporate – Part 3: Physical management

This is the third and final article in a series of three articles, which deals with the management of a sectional title scheme. We first looked at the financial management of a body corporate, then administrative management, followed now by the physical management of a body corporate.

As explained in our first article, the functions and powers of the body corporate, as set out in sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011 (“the STSMA”), are performed and exercised, in terms of section 7 of the STSMA, by the trustees of the body corporate, subject to any restriction imposed, or direction given by the members of the body corporate. However, some of these powers can only be exercised along with a resolution of the members.

Improvements to common property

Improvements to common property are proposed by the trustees, but cannot be implemented without notification to, or approval of, the members of the body corporate.

By unanimous resolution of the members of the body corporate, the trustees may proceed with improvements to common property that are considered to be not reasonably necessary.

Following the required 30 day notice, and should no objection and request for a special general meeting be received from a member, the trustees may proceed with improvements to common property that are considered to be reasonably necessary. However, should a special general meeting be called and convened, such improvement may not proceed until such time as a special resolution is passed by the members.

By ordinary resolution of the members of the body corporate, the trustees may install and maintain, at the expense of the body corporate, separate meters to record the individual consumption of water, electricity or gas.

In order to authorise the installation and maintenance, at the expense of the body corporate, of separate pre-payment meters, a special resolution of the members of the body corporate is required, taken at a special general meeting called on 60 days notice.

Use of sections and common property

The trustees must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a member or occupier uses and enjoys their sections, exclusive use areas (“EUA”) and the common property, in such a way as to not cause an unreasonable interference, a nuisance, the contravention of any law or by-law etc., and does not do anything that has a material negative effect on the value or utility of any other section or EUA, and that any alterations undertaken are not likely to impair the stability of the building.

The trustees must further ensure that an owner does not use a section or EUA for a purpose other than its intended use, without the written consent of all owners; or construct or place a structure or building improvement on an EUA, without an ordinary resolution of the members.

Obligation to maintain

The trustees may remedy an owner’s failure to repair or maintain their section, if their failure threatens the stability of the common property, the safety of building or materially prejudices the interests of the body corporate, its members and occupiers of sections, and may recover the reasonable costs of doing so from such member.

If you have any queries relating to this article and topic, feel free to contact us via email at or telephonically on 021 686 3950, for a no-obligation quotation for a consultation.

Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 13, Issue 12.

Zerlinda van der Merwe is an admitted Attorney of the High Court, specialist Sectional Title Attorney (BA, LLB, LLM), Zerlinda brings a wealth of experience and forms part of the Paddocks Private Consulting Division.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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