Know your sectional title rules

Sectional title schemes are governed by rules – those that are for the management of schemes and those to manage behaviour of residents within the scheme.

The two sets of rules are used in conjunction with each other but are very different in their application, says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.

The Regulations to the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act (STSMA) contain a prescribed set of management (Annexure 1) and conduct (Annexure 2) rules.

“The management rules prescribe the way sectional title scheme administrative duties are carried out. This section deals with items such as how to run meetings, voting, electing and appointing trustees, duties of trustees, budgets, quorum requirements, use of sections, financial planning and management. The way the rules are set out is the way all sectional title schemes must be run,” says Bauer.

“Conduct rules govern behaviour of residents, which are prescribed within the regulations and cover issues such as pet ownership, refuse removals, usage of common and exclusive use areas, vehicle parking, and so on.”

He says the conduct rules and some of the management rules can be changed if the owners in a scheme decide they need amendments made. For management rules to be changed, a unanimous resolution is required and conduct rules require a special resolution. These can be amended by applying to the Community Schemes Ombud Service, who will evaluate whether they are just and applicable, and will then approve them or make recommendations for changes.

“The STSMA stipulates that all bodies corporate should keep a record of both sets of rules that are in force at any given time. These rules should be available for trustee or owner meetings where someone might want to inspect or refer to them and the rules must also be given to every owner and tenant living in the scheme,” says Bauer.

“All owners in sectional title schemes should become acquainted with the rules so that they can help ensure the scheme is well managed.”

Michael Bauer is a regular contributor to www.sectionaltitlesa.co.za. Visit www.ihfm.co.za, call 083 255 4442, or email michael@ihfm.co.za.