A dilemma brought forward by a trustee in a sectional title scheme regarding parking bay allocation is not uncommon and the confusion over ownership or entitlement to a bay is something that many bodies corporate have to deal with, says Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company IHFM
In this situation there are ten bays, and each unit is allocated two bays on the common property. A previous owner received permission to erect carports on the spaces allocated to him and his unit has subsequently been sold, but the carports have been included in the sale agreement. The chairman of the scheme has told the agents that the carport covered parking bays go back into the parking pool as they are owned by the body corporate, and he wants to let the bays so that the body corporate can earn funds via these.
Just to clarify matters, says Bauer, it first needs to be established who actually owns the parking bays.
There are three forms of ownership, and they could be either:
- Common property, which is owned by the body corporate and this can be let out by the trustees of the body corporate (not the chairman himself).
- Exclusive use areas, either section 27 (by right) or 27 (a) (by conduct rule), and this means that they are owned by the owners or the body corporate, or
- Sections, which form part of the units owned by the members of the scheme.
The trustees may rent out the common property, a section or exclusive use area owned by the body corporate, and this is often done so that the body corporate can receive funds in addition to the levies, said Bauer.
The seller in this case may have erected the carports and paid for those but the bays themselves may be common property and this could be checked on the sectional plan.
If he let them from the body corporate, the bays go back into the pool once the unit is sold and the next person on the list who has applied for parking will have the right to rent them.
If the bays were included in the sales agreement and they are not part of the section then this contract was concluded incorrectly and needs to be rectified immediately, said Bauer.
“The best course of action is to determine exactly who owns the bays by checking the plan and the conduct rules, because it cannot be assumed that parking bays in front of a unit (even though he may have paid for additions) belongs to him,” said Bauer.