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Is your Complex suffering from a leaky maintenance, repair and replacement plan?

Heavy rains and flooding in parts of South Africa have put sectional title complex maintenance in the spotlight. According to specialist sectional title attorney and BBM Law director Marina Constas, leaks are currently making up half of her department’s case load.

While an unexpected deluge may sometimes be to blame, in many cases, the problem is a leaky Sectional Title Maintenance, Repair and Replacement Plan (MRRP), she says.

Constas explains that Prescribed Management Rule (PMR) 22, which came into effect in 2016, is an important addition to the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act. “This rule recognises that along with buying a property comes the responsibility to manage it, and that if one owner fails to do so, it impacts every owner and the overall quality and value of the complex.

In the past, when times were tough, as they are now, no matter how realistic or necessary the budget presented at the AGM by the trustees, a simple majority of members had the power to veto the proposed levy increase. If the buildings required maintenance, then they fell into disrepair because unit owners simply would not, or could not, fund the on-going maintenance. It was the easiest item to trim on the budget.

PMR 22 mandates trustees to craft a 10-year Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement Plan (MRRP) for common property, including roofs. Yet, many treat it as a mere formality," says Constas. "Quickly assembled one-page plans lack depth and detail."

"MRRPs should outline major maintenance needs and the current condition of assets. Professional strategic planning is vital to prevent water leak issues," she emphasizes.

Constas advises engaging professionals for MRRP creation and urges scrutiny of the plan before investing in a sectional title scheme. "It gauges trustee competence and potential risks to the building's integrity."

Regarding leaks, Constas clarifies liability: developers cover new complex leaks for a year, after which the body corporate is responsible. Insurance addresses sudden events, not maintenance lapses.

"Gutters and window leaks split repair costs between owners and the body corporate," she adds. "Separate insurance is crucial for personal property damage."

Buyers should confirm balcony ownership to avoid unexpected maintenance expenses. "Leaking roofs and pipes threaten asset values. Trustees must allocate adequate reserves for maintenance," Constas advises.

She encourages education on legislation for all involved in community housing schemes to navigate challenges effectively. Read and order Marina Constas book latest edition of ‘Demystifying Sectional Title ‘ it is a must-read book.


Reside all events 2 2024
Reside All Events 2024