Owners of a sectional title scheme have a collective duty to maintain the common property. It is not a matter of owners could if they have the financial means. Unlike freehold property, the maintenance of the collectively owned property is a collective obligation.
Section 37(1)(a) of the Sectional Titles Act (95 of 1986) is quite clear in this regard. The prescribed management rules appended to this act, Rule 36 on the annual financial estimate, states “(1) Before every annual general meeting, the trustees shall cause to be prepared an itemised estimate of the anticipated income and expenses of the body corporate during the ensuing financial year, which estimate shall be laid before the annual general meeting for consideration in terms of rule 56 hereof. (2) The estimate of expenses referred to in sub‐rule (1) shall include a reasonable provision for contingencies and the maintenance of the common property.” (emphasis added).
The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, No. 8 of 2011, repeals section 37 of the Sectional Titles Act, and replaces (section 3) it with, the functions of bodies corporate, which include interalia:
- (1) A body corporate must …
- (a) to establish and maintain an administrative fund which is reasonably sufficient to cover the estimated annual operating costs—
- (i) for the repair, maintenance, management and administration of the common property (including reasonable provision for future maintenance and repairs);
- (b) to establish and maintain a reserve fund in such amounts as are reasonably sufficient to cover the cost of future maintenance and repair of common property but not less than such amounts as may be prescribed by the Minister;
The exisitng prescribed management rules are retained as per Section 10(12) of the Sectional Titles Scheme Management Act, No 8 of 2011: http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=147401