Extensions & Alterations in Sectional Title Schemes

In this series we will discuss all factors complicating extensions and alterations in sectional title schemes.  With extensions and alterations, we refer to adding on to your sections, closing balconies, converting garages into living rooms and similar. We will look at the impact of these changes in terms of town planning and building regulations as well as sectional title laws and regulation.

First and foremost, we will have a look at why complex living is so complicated.  Communal living always entails medium to high density living.  Mix this close proximity with shared ownership, one is bound to enter tricky territory – literary and figuratively speaking! Community Schemes are governed by rules and regulations which are mostly enforced by a handful of voluntary trustees, in their spare time. Often times occupants, owners and tenants alike, are unaware of such rules and feel personally attacked when reprimanded. However, when successfully implemented, these rules will enhance the quality of life for all, but more importantly ensure the safety of all occupants.

A good starting point on the road to a harmonious scheme, is to have a look a few basic concepts which are often misconceived.

What is Common Property? 

In relation to the scheme, it means


  • All those buildings or part of buildings not included in a section
  • All the land and space that is not included in sections
  • Any additional land or units acquired by the BC


Common property belongs to all members of the BC in an undivided share according to the participation quota of their respective sections. Often owners are unaware of the fact that they do not own their garden (even if it is fenced or walled) and may therefore not construct anything on common property. This includes louvre decks, lapas, swimming pools and wendy houses. When built on common property, these structures would theoretically be for the enjoyment of the entire body corporate.

What is an Exclusive Use Areas?

EUA is common property that the right of use is granted to a specific member – granting in terms of the rules, or notarial ceded to member (registered in deeds office). In terms of the 1971 Act, there were also developer granted EUA rights.


As mentioned in common property, you cannot build a pool without approval as it forms part of common property. When built, you have the right to exclusively use it, but you cannot own it. Depending on how Exclusive Use Area were created, you may be charged a fee to maintain the pool.  Learn more about the creation of EUA in this Minute with Multiprof video.

In the next entry, we will look at the role of owners, the Body Corporate and Trustees in extensions and alterations in sectional title.

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