Thinking of undertaking renovations to your sectional title unit? Be aware that there are restrictions on what you can and cannot do with your property in terms of the conduct rules of the scheme.
The first step should be to request a copy of the conduct rules from the body corporate, managing agents or, if necessary, from the relevant Deeds Registry and to read them so that the correct procedures can be followed.
Generally, if you want to make structural changes, alterations or renovations to the external appearance of your unit, the consent of the trustees of the body corporate is required. Once your architect has drawn the plans, you must submit them to the body corporate for approval. The trustees will circulate the proposed plans to all the owners. If there are any objections, a vote in respect thereof will take place at the general meeting. If there is no objection, you can then proceed to apply to the local municipality for approval.
It is not usually necessary for an owner to obtain permission for alterations or renovations to the inside of the unit unless the changes are forbidden by the conduct rules, if the floor area of the unit is increased, if the changes would affect the structural stability of the unit and other units attached to it, or if the internal changes would somehow alter the external appearance of the unit.
Even if the internal alterations do not need approval, you should notify the trustees of the body corporate of the proposed alterations or renovations as there will undoubtedly be some disruption and inconvenience caused to the other residents such as noise and diminished security.
Once the alterations or renovations have been approved, the body corporate may impose some restrictions such as work days and hours, movement and parking of delivery and construction vehicles, placement of rubble and further requirements such as the contractors should have builders’ risk insurance and the workers should be registered with the scheme’s security company.