The role of the Body Corporate and Trustees in extensions and alterations.

We previously discussed the complexities of sectional title living and, in this entry, we look at another hot topic – additions and alterations in sectional title schemes. 

Many of us can relate to agony of waking up to a newly constructed lapa blocking your once unobstructed view. Shortly thereafter a couple of others follow suit and before long the complex is no longer homogeneous (or harmonious for that matter!). As owners own only the inside of the unit (together with an undivided share in the common property), the lapas are built on common property and are thus for everyone’s enjoyment (and upkeep). This raises a very important question: Can extensions and alterations be allowed in sectional titles schemes?

Key to this issue is the utmost importance of following the correct procedure that will preserve the look and feel of the complex and ensure the safety of its inhabitants.  It is also the duty of trustees to ensure that levies are calculated fairly and correctly and therefor extensions must be managed accordingly. Uncontrolled alterations can negatively influence the value of the property and should be avoided at all cost.

Body Corporate approval is always requested for extensions.  However, permission given by Trustees does not override standard rules and regulations. We therefor advise trustees to always include the following indemnity:

The Trustees have in principle no objection to additions or alterations on condition that the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme, National Building Regulations and Sectional Titles Act, Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act and Prescribed Rules are adhered to.

In this Minute with Multiprof video, CEO Abrie Snyman gives a short overview of the process and timelines to legally extend in complexes.


In conclusion – requests for extensions will always be prevalent in complexes. It is the duty of owners, trustees and Managing Agents to familiarize themselves with the correct procedure to ensure compliance of all structures to all above mentioned laws and regulation. By doing so, many disputes and costly corrections can be avoided. 


Contact us today for more information!