Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Limpopo
I live in a security estate with a full title deed. The complex owner is building storage units at the back of our house. I have two concerns:
1. We were not notified or invited to vote as members of the body corporate. The storage units are double story (infringing our view) and they are building on top of the existing boundary wall. Is there any way to object to this? The MOI states that they can make additions to the common areas. Building on top of the boundary wall feels like they are taking it too far.
2. They have requested access to our yard to build the storage units. I have three dogs that live in my back yard (with no where else to go). I do not want strangers to access my yard as the dogs might attack or injure the builders, for which I probably have to take responsibility. Also if someone accidently leaves the gate open the dogs will run away. I will also not close them in the house while they build as this is unfait to the dogs. Is there any legislation that protects my rights as a title deed holder?
MOI states "Where the boundary or any member's unit also constitutes the boundary of the Association area, such member shall be oblidged to permit the Association to erect upon such member's unit immediately adjacent to the boundary, such walling or fencing as the developer and/or the Association may determine. Such member shall not be entitled to interfere in any manner whatsoever with any such walling or fencing and shall permit the Association from time to time access to such member's unit in order to inspect such walling or fencing and to effect such repairs as may be necessary from time to time."
The MOI also states "The main objective of the association shall be to promote, advance and protect the communal interest of the owners of, full title stands and sectional title units lying within the Association area and in particular in so promoting such communal interest to ensure acceptable aesthetic appearance..."
I am basically just asking what legislation I can use to protect me?
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
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Answer to the Question
When you say that "the complex owner is building storage units at the back of our house", is the complex owner the developer, and are the storage units being constructed on separate erfs?
Q: Is there any way to object to this? --> what you need to do is to look at the building limitations and regulations pertaining to building on an erf in your area. In Cape Town, for example, some plots say that there is a 3m building line which you can't cross, some plots have a 1m building line, and some plots say that you can build right up to your boundary. So what applies to your erfs? You must investigate that because it might be that they are building within their building envelope.
If that's the case, then they don't actually need permission from any neighbours to build. If they are building outside of their envelope, they DEFINITELY will need permission. You can also contact the building inspector in the municipality to ask him if permission was sought, or is needed.
If the storage units are being built on common property, then the members of the body corporate ("BC") should have voted on the plans. But I suspect that the units are being build on empty erfs which are still owned by the developer.
If the boundary wall is actually constructed on the neighbouring erf, then it belongs to that erf, and they can build on the wall. If the boundary wall is constructed on your erf, then it belongs to you, and they can't touch the wall.
There is no obligation on you to allow them access to your erf, not at all.
The clause that you've pasted means that if you don't have a boundary wall, the BC can build one for you, on the edge of your erf, and you need to let them onto your erf to repair the wall. But this is not what you've explained. They want access to build a storage unit on top of the wall.
It is important to understand where the wall is constructed. i.e. who does it actually belong to.
What you need to do is to look at: the BC rules; the BC constitution; and the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act.
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