In November 2020, the Minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (“the Department”) introduced amendments to the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (“the Act”) to the National Assembly by way of the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill, 2020 (“the Bill”).
The Act seeks, inter alia, to regulate the approval and registration processes of a Sectional Title scheme; the ownership, letting and selling of common property; the subdivision, consolidation and extension of sections; the extension of schemes; exclusive use of common property; and participation quotas.
To further contextualise the amendments to the Act, as contained in the Bill, and how they impact the sectional title industry, the following legislation is also pertinent:
- Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011 (including its regulations), which governs the functions and powers of the body corporate and its trustees and the duties of sectional title property owners, and
- Community Schemes Ombud Services Act 9 of 2011 (including its regulations and practice directives), which governs, inter alia, the registration of schemes.
The Bill seeks to bring about the following changes to the Sectional Titles Act:
- the amendment of certain definitions;
- the amendment of provisions relating to the following:
- the alienation of common property;
- the extension of a scheme, and to include reference to exclusive-use areas, where not previously included;
- participation quotas of sections, and cross referencing the Act with the Sectional Titles Schemes Managements Act;
- to provide for the following in respect of the developer:
- to answer the questions of agents of lessees;
- to submit a plan for subdivision or consolidation to the Surveyor-General for approval to subdivide, consolidate or to extend a section prior to the formation of a body corporate;
- to provide for a certificate issued by an architect or a land surveyor, which must be compliant with section 26(2) of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013;
- to provide for the following in respect of sectional plans:
- amendment in respect of exclusive areas;
- amendment and cancellation upon a court order;
- to provide for the noting on a title deed in respect of the expiration of a reservation of the right to extend a scheme in terms of section 25;
- to provide for a lease of part of the common property to be subjected to the rights of the holders of real rights and the addition of a requirement for consent from the holders of the registered real rights;
- to provide for the cancellation of a mortgaged section and mortgaged exclusive-use area;
- to provide for the following regarding a section:
- extension of the registration of a subdivision of a section;
- consolidation of sections;
- extension of sections to a developer;
- to provide for the filing of replacement documentation for lost or destroyed documentation;
- to regulate the membership of the section titles regulations board.
In essence, the proposed amendments seek to “provide clarity and protect the lessees in the properties under the sectional-arrangement buildings” as per the cabinet statement.