Sectional Title: what you need to know
difference between a unit number and a section number
- Unit numbers and section numbers may be different.
- In a new development, It can become a problem when a buyer
claims that the unit he bought is in fact the other unit where the section
number is the same
- It is therefore a safer option to confirm in writing from the
developer or managing agent what the section number has been allocated to which
- If unsure and it is a re-sale do a deeds office search in the
- In the case of a new development, always obtain an
identification certificate from the land surveyor of which the surveyor will
confirm which section number was allocated to which unit
- If a wrong section is registered in the name if the buyer a
rectification transfer has to be done
- Make sure your Deed of Sale reflects both the section number
and the unit number – because all transfer and bond documents contain only the
section number. In some cases buyers are very uneasy to sign the transfer
documents if the difference between the unit and section number has not been
explained to them
- Of further importance in the Deed of Sale is the inclusion or not of the exclusive use areas and whether or nit a real right to extend has been registered over the scheme
Why are the
square metres n the transfer ad bond documents smaller than the square metres
on the contract or site plan
- In the contract and on the building plan and site plan the
unit is measured to the outer edge if the building. All porches ad open stoep
areas are normally measured and reflected I these plans.
- When a surveyor surveys the unit, it is measured to the
middle (median) of the outside wall which defines the section
- A rectangular unit of 150 sqm with a normal cavity outer wall
will reflect approximately 7 sqm less on the sectional title plan than on the
all extensions of the unit have been registered
Obtain copies of registered Surveyor
General (SG) plans
Either developer of managing agent, Windeed or Searchworks
will have these plans
If surveyed unit differs form the municipal an it will earn
that the unit has bee extended and the extended section has nit been registered
the deeds office. This will delay your registration process.
The Sectional Title Act 1986 makes provision in terms f
section 24 for the extension of a section when you intend to make structural
Any alterations that extend the boundaries or floor area if
the unit will be seen as an extension.
Legal requirements that must be adhered to are:
- The Act stipulates that
you should first obtain the consent form the Body Corporate
- Usually the Trustees will
hold a general meeting and the members must pass a special resolution to agree
to the alterations
- To pass the special
resolution you will require consent of 75% of the owners that are present at
- This is time consuming as
the members needs 30 days notice in advance of such a meeting
- Alternatively, to speed
the process resolution can be obtained from ALL the individual owners and
obtain consent of 75% of all the owners
- Once a Body Corporate
consent has been obtained, municipal plans of the extension should be drawn up
and approved by the Local Authority
- A land Surveyor should be
appointed to draw new Sectional Title Plans of the Scheme to incorporate the
extension. These plans have to be approved by the Surveyor General.
- Consult with your attorney
who will draw the necessary application for the registration of the amended
Sectional Title Plan in the Deeds Office and the noting of the change in the
extent of the unit
- If the unit is bonded, the
attorney will have to obtain the consent from the mortgagee of the unit
- With the application in
the Deeds Office a transfer duty receipt must be lodged based on the increase
in value of the property. It us advisable to obtain two estate agents
valuations based on the pre and post alterations value of the property.
- The Surveyor must
stipulate on the Sectional Title Plan that there is not a deviation of more
than 10% in the participation quota of the unit as a result of the alterations.
- If there is a deviation of
more than 10% the attorney must obtain the consent of the mortgagees of each
and every unit in the Scheme.
- It is very important that
Sectional Title owners adhere to the legalities as an omission could cause
extensive delays when the property is sold.
sections to the common land – the importance of the real right to extend
Simultaneously with the opening of the sectional title
register the developer depending on the size of his development and financial
resources may reserve the right to extend the scheme in terms of section 25 of
On the Surveyor General plans, a note will be made of the
real right to extend, which has been reserved. With this right to extend the scheme the developer:
If a Real Right to extend the scheme has been registered,
this fact will be shown as an endorsement on the deed search.
- Can build additional units
himself on the land OR
- Can sell a portion or
portions of the real right to extend to a purchaser and cedes the right to the
purchaser by way of a notarial deed of cession of the portion of the real right
- Each portion represents a
portion of land and is demarcated on a plan drawn by a land surveyor and
approved by the Surveyor General.
- The purchaser will attend
to the financing and building of the unit himself.
There is usually a time
stipulated by the developer in the sale agreement within which the purchaser
must build and take steps to incorporate his unit into the Sectional Title
Exclusive Use Areas
- In terms of section 25 any buyer of a unit needs to be
informed of the reservation of such real right in the deed of sale or if not,
must be consent to abide to the contract if informed about the Real Right after
- Conveyancers must ensure that the contract reflects this
condition or obtain the consent from the buyers
There are two different types of
exclusive use areas:
- A fair amount of confusion seems to exist regarding the exact
nature if exclusive use areas.
- Exclusive use areas are normally the garden areas, garages,
parking bays, carports, patio’s etc. in the sectional title scheme
An exclusive use area is defined in the Sectional Title Act
as “part or parts of the common property for the exclusive use by the owners of
one or more sections”
It is clear from the definition that exclusive use areas form
part of the common property and it accordingly not owned by any one person or
- So although from a practical point of view, persons who have
exclusive use of an area enjoy rights that are similar to ownership rights in respect
of that area, they are not legally the owners thereof
- Exclusive use area is registered in terms of the Sectional
Title Act. The developer can delineate areas of the common property as
exclusive use areas on the sectional title plan, and these areas can then be
registered as such in the Deeds Office when the sectional title register is opened.
- When the unit is transferred, the exclusive use area is also
transferred by way of a Notarial Deed of Cession.
- The purchaser accordingly receives a document that is
registered in the Deeds Office that is proof of the fact that he enjoys the
exclusive use if the area
This area is depicted on the sectional plan that is
registered I the Deeds Office.
This type of exclusive use area is the most preferable as it
is formal and creates the most certainty. This is known as a REAL RIGHT
- As an estate agent, we will have to obtain proof of such
registration when you do a person search in the deeds office.
- It will not show under the property search, the area will normally be too small to be a unit and will be
described as G (number). P (number) C (number) – this info has to be included
in your Deed of Sale.
You need to know that no person may be the owner of an
exclusive use area if that parson is not the owner of a unit.
- Therefore ensure that the names on your contract reflect all
exclusive use areas being held by the seller if the seller sells his only unit
in the scheme.
- Exclusive use area is one that is created through the Rules
of the Body Corporate
- It is known as a PERSONAL RIGHT
If the exclusive use area have not been delineated on a
sectional title plan, and there has been no formal allocation of exclusive use
areas in respect of the areas (this situation most frequently occurs in the
older sectional title schemes) and the body corporate wishes to allocate one
specific exclusive use area for each owner for his or her specific use the Body
Corporate can follow the following procedure:
costs to the buyer who buy a sectional title unit
The sketch plan
demarcating each exclusive use area must be drawn up
At a meeting of the body
corporate this proposal must be passed by a resolution of the members
Application should then be
made to the Deeds Office to lodge the rules in terms of which the exclusive use
areas have been allocated.
When you sell a unit and no formal exclusive use areas have
been registered, we suggest you obtain confirmation from the managing agent as
to whether any personal rights of exclusive use areas have been allocated to
the unit in terns of the rules
- The normal tariff cost for the registration of the transfer
of the unit and the registration of the bond would apply, however, the
following additional cost should be added:
- A LEVY clearance fee would
be charged on average R950 – R1200. This is payable to the Managing Agent
- An Insurance Certificate
fee would be charged on the bond on average R950 – R1200. This is payable to
the Managing Agent
- The registration of the
exclusive use areas will be charged at R1650 plus VAT per area and a deeds
office fee of R280
- The registration of a sectional title unit with its exclusive use
area can therefore
easily cost almost R4500 more than the registration of a full title property.