In the first of two sectional title issues this week, a reader asks what the conditions are which determine a levy amount in a complex.
She is paying an amount for her two-bedroom home which is the same as that for a three-bedroom house.
It is important to understand how a levy payable in respect of a section is determined.
A levy is calculated by determining the participation quota. The number of rooms would only have an impact if the physical size of the section is larger.
See the reader’s question here.
Other aspects may also be included when calculating the levy, all bundled up under the concept of a “participation quota” in the Sectional Titles Act.
The participation quota of a section is calculated by dividing the floor area of the section by the combined floor area of all the sections of the buildings in the scheme.
This means that the concept of a “section” also requires consideration.
A section is set out on the sectional plan and generally includes areas enclosed by and up to the boundary walls.
Adjoining porches, balconies or the like must also be considered, as well as other areas generally contiguous to the main portion of the section.
But a section can include non-contiguous areas such as garages and separate buildings used as storerooms.
The reader should have a look at what comprises the section she rents as there may be more to it than meets the eye.
Exclusive-use areas may also increase the levy payable.
The reader may thus not even be aware that other buildings are taken into account when calculating the participation quota applicable to her section.
In the second case, a reader questions whether the body corporate can charge him as much as R600 after he requested copies of the financial records relating to the scheme in which he resides.
The body corporate has been quite forthcoming in making the documentation available, provided he pays the money up front.
It should be noted that the records may also be made available for inspection, in which case no fee should be payable.
The regulation applicable states that the body corporate may charge a fee for a copy of a record or document other than the rules.
This is provided that the fee is not more than the reasonable cost associated with the process of making the copy. The body corporate may refuse to supply the copy until the fee is paid.
The reader may want to consider inspecting the records rather than requesting copies to prevent the financial implication.
If hard copies are required, the reader should start by inquiring how many pages are involved.
Depending on that, he should consider what is involved in the process as a fair amount of time may be required to see to his request.
If a reasonable number of pages are involved and the process is entirely automated, the amount of R600 may be too high and not worth it.
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