When buying property in Port Elizabeth, you can choose Freehold or Free Title ownership or Sectional Title. Full Title gives you full ownership of the land and all the buildings on it, or you can buy or create Sectional Titles. Sectional Title is the right of ownership of a part of immovable property, and it usually applies to units or sections in a complex or property development. Sectional Title ownership is an affordable way to own property and it comes with the benefit of security and communal living in which you have privacy but contribute to property maintenance with a fixed monthly levy. Sectional Title properties are usually flats, apartments, townhouses, or semi-detached houses. All the registered owners of Sectional Title in a complex or cluster form the Body Corporate, an entity that governs the development.
How to Convert Full Title to Sectional Title?
If you own a house or land and want to convert it into a complex of apartments or townhouses, you will need to plan properly with an architect, draftsman or land surveyor, and your Conveyancer at Greyvensteins Attorneys.
A site plan is drafted, and then a sectional title plan is drafted to depict where all your buildings, parking, driveways, and common property will be situated on the land. This sectional title plan needs to be approved by the Surveyor-General. Once the Sectional Title plan is approved, your Conveyancer drafts an application to open the Sectional Title Register. Once the Sectional Title Register is opened and the sectional plan is registered with the Deeds Office, you may sell and transfer ownership of pieces of land, units in a building or various buildings on your property. Sectional Titles comprise various parts that titleholders can own and can use in different ways.
- Sections, which are the individual units owned by sectional title owners.
- Common Property, which is everything else on the land or property that is outside of the units.
- Exclusive-use areas are facilities such as parking bays and storerooms which are outside of the section but can only be used by the holder of the Sectional Title.
What are your rights as a sectional title owner?
Are you thinking about investing in a flat, apartment or townhouse in Port Elizabeth? When investing in Sectional Title ownership, it is important to be aware of your rights, responsibilities, and obligations.
- Right to Extend in Sectional Title
As the buyer, you have a right to know the extent of the developer’s right to extend the complex so you know exactly how large the complex will become and what it will look like. You could buy an erf overlooking the 18th fairway of a golf course today, however, the developer could be planning to build more units in front of yours in the next twelve years, and they could end up obstructing the view. If you are interested in purchasing a Sectional Title, contact your Conveyancer at Greyvensteins to look into the Schedule of Conditions attached to the Sectional Title scheme and they will explain everything you need to know about the property you are about to invest in.
- Participation in the Body Corporate
All the registered owners of Sectional Titles in a complex or developments make up the Body Corporate which takes care of the common property. When you own a Sectional Title, you own your unit as well as an undivided share in the common property such as the boundary wall, swimming pool, gardens etc. The extent of your share in the costs associated with the upkeep of the common property is proportionate to the size of the total number of units that you own i.e., your participation quota. Your Conveyancer at Greyvensteins will calculate this quota and will be able to tell you what your share is in the costs borne by the Body Corporate as well as the number of votes you hold when the Body Corporate casts votes by value to make certain decisions.
Body Corporates are mandated by Law to plan for the upkeep of the common property in a complex and allocate a reserve fund that will pay for larger maintenance projects that fall outside of the scope of ordinary upkeep such as grass cutting services, cleaning, and insurances. In the case of extraordinary circumstances, special levies may be raised by the Body Corporate to pay for unforeseen emergencies, and your portion of those special levies will be determined by Participation Quota.
- Customise your Sectional Title Management Rules
Sectional Title Schemes must submit a set of rules when registering with the Deeds Office. These rules may be tailored to the unique circumstances of the development. Speak to one of our Conveyancers to amend your Sectional Title Management Rules.
There are rights and responsibilities attached to owning and managing a sectional title scheme. Whether you are buying or selling a Sectional Title, Taking on the role of a trustee or managing agent, contact one of our Conveyancers in Gqeberha, Cape Town or Johannesburg for legal advice.