An investment in a Scheme is an investment in communal living – it is important to familiarise oneself with the rules of the Body Corporate prior to purchasing in a Sectional Title Scheme.
Every Body Corporate must have rules, and standard rules are prescribed in terms of the Sectional Title Management Act (STMSA), which rules can be amended by the Body Corporate from time to time.
Rules can be obtained from the Managing Agents or the trustees. If no rules are available, it usually means that the standard rules as contained in the STMSA will apply.
Any amendment to the rules will only be binding once such an amendment has been filed with the Community Scheme Ombud (SCOS) and a certificate issued by them.
The function of the SCOS is to scrutinise the rules to make sure that such rules or proposed changes thereto are fair and reasonable and to check the quality of the documents, i.e. that it complies with the STMSA.
Management Rules can only be amended through a unanimous resolution of all the members of the Scheme, and Conduct Rules by means of a Special Resolution of the members of the Scheme.
Trustees are not empowered to make any changes to the rules.
Management rules deal with matters relating to matters such as decision making in a scheme – for example; the manner in which meetings are held, what constitutes a quorum and the powers of trustees.
Exclusive Use areas can also be allocated in terms of the Management Rules.
Conduct rules regulate the conduct between scheme owners and tenants, and are divided as follows:
- Keeping of animals, reptiles and birds
- Refuse and waste disposal
- Damage to common property
- The appearance of section and exclusive use area
- Storage of flammable materials
- The behaviour of occupiers and visitors in sections and on common property
- Eradication of pest
- The standard rule relating to the keeping of pets require the consent of the trustees, and which consent may not be unreasonably withheld.
This rule can be amended to, for example, restrict the number and size of dogs, or to ban pets altogether.
In such instance, the trustees cannot override the rule – for example, if the rule stipulates that only owners are allowed to keep pets, the trustees are not empowered to consent to a tenant keeping pets.
Members can propose changes to the Conduct Rules, and such proposed changes will be put to the vote at a meeting of members, such as the AGM.
For this and more Sectional Title Scheme and Body Corporate Management advice, get in touch with the PropDirect team today.