Parking problems in a sectional title scheme

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Parking space is very important in a sectional title scheme, however issues often arise around parking in common areas. Here are some ways to handle these issues.

Parking spots are at a premium for homeowners in sectional title schemes, and often there is a lack of common parking areas. To counter this, additional parking bays are often created on common property. Homeowners can have very different opinions on how they would like these additional parking bays to be divided. Some feel that they should have exclusive use to parking bays near their home, while others feel like that all parking areas should be common property.

The following solutions are a great way to handle parking issues that may arise in a sectional title scheme:

1. Problem: Homeowners have a difference of opinion on who can use the additional parking bays, with some homeowners wanting exclusive use of certain bays.

Solution: The body corporate can set up a rental pool which allows homeowners to lease parking bays on an annual basis.

“Letting of common property in this way is covered in Section 17 of the Act, and such a system also means that the body corporate receives a steady income from the parking, because any bays that go vacant can immediately be re-let to other owners that need them. If necessary, the trustees can even create a waiting list.” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of property management company Trafalgar.

2. Problem: Another issue which can arise is the question of what do with a common parking bay that has been used by a homeowner, who is then selling their home.

Solution: As a general rule, homeowners who are leasing a parking bay should not be able to transfer the lease over to anyone else, including the new owners of their unit. These parking bays should go back into the rental pool and let to the next person on the waiting list.

“Indeed, the only time that a unit owner can sell a parking bay is if it is an exclusive use area in terms of the plans, and we advise anyone who is buying a sectional title unit and being asked to pay for such a space to first confirm that this is actually the case by referring to the sectional title plan.” says Schaefer.

These solutions should be put in place at the very beginning of discussions regarding parking in common areas, to avoid conflict and make sure that all homeowners are on the same page.

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