If you are the owner of a sectional title unit and wish to extend the floor area of your section, it is important to be aware that the process is not complete at the time of the approval by the body corporate and the local authority. There is a final step, which is the registration of the extension against the title deeds of the unit in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, which occurs in the Deeds Office.
Firstly, the owner must obtain the approval of the body corporate for the extension by means of a special resolution of the members. The owner will then need to instruct a land surveyor to prepare the sectional plan of extension. Once this plan has been approved by the Surveyor General, it must be given to a conveyancer by the owner with instructions to attend to the registration of the extension of the section in the Deeds Office.
The conveyancers will draft the relevant application for signature by the owner and will call for the original title deed and mortgage bond (if applicable) for the section.
The conveyancer will determine whether the extension of the section will result in a deviation in the participation quota (PQ) of any section in the scheme by more than 10%. If this is the case, then the consent of every bondholder in the scheme will need to be obtained. (The PQ is the percentage allocated to each section in a scheme, based on the floor area of the section in relation to all of the other sections in the scheme, and determines, among other things, the owner’s liability for levy contributions).
If the scheme is a large scheme where many units are bonded, it can take a substantial amount of time to obtain all the consents and can be costly. It is advisable to complete this process as soon as possible after the plans are approved, especially if the owner is planning on selling the unit in the foreseeable future, as if there are many consents to be obtained, this can result in a lengthy delay in the registration process.
The conveyancer will then lodge the application and relevant documents in the Deeds Office and upon registration, the owner’s title deed and mortgage bond (if applicable) will be endorsed with the new extent of the section.