Competitions News Residential Women in Real Estate Women's Month 2023

Competition: Knowledge is power for women in the sectional title property space

*This competition is closed. Congrats to the winner, Claire Daly!

While women own or co-own almost 60% of the residential properties in South Africa, their representation and influence in the property sphere still lags behind that of men, according to Marina Constas, specialist sectional title attorney and director of BBM Law.

Constas is also the founder of knowledge sharing and networking platform Women in Sectional Title (WiST) and the co-author of the best-selling book, Demystifying Sectional Title, a definitive guide for anyone living, buying or leasing property in a sectional title complex, or anyone who deals with sectional title in any manner.

The launch of the latest updated third edition coincides with Women’s Month, which Constas says is fitting. “Knowledge is power for women striving to make their voices heard in the property sector, particularly in the sectional title and community schemes space, where the legislation can be a minefield. Women own more than half of the homes in South Africa, but I am regularly consulted about conflicts in which women owners, tenants and trustees are ignored or even bullied in what is still a largely male-dominated area.”

Constas urges women owning, renting, and investing in property in community schemes like sectional title complexes, homeowners’ associations, share blocks, retirement villages or housing co-operatives to arm themselves with knowledge on the relevant legislation and understand their rights and responsibilities in order to navigate the inevitable challenges of a community lifestyle.

Community schemes are governed by two Acts, The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act,” she explains. She co-authored Demystifying Sectional Title with Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) adjudicator Karen Bleijs. The book has been updated to include a number of legislative changes in the sectional titles arena. Constas outlines the revisions:

First, we needed to cover the POPI (Protection of Personal Information) Act, which was fully proclaimed on the 1st of July 2020. This Act has ramifications around requests by owners or third parties for the personal information of other owners or trustees in the scheme. It also relates to the legality around the installation of cameras in the scheme and information taken at the guardhouse when visitors enter. We also needed to draw our readers’ attention to the Property Practitioner’s Regulatory Authority, which replaced the Estate Agents Affairs Board and came into effect on the 1st of February 2022.”

The latest edition of Demystifying Sectional Title has been praised by property industry role players. “It is a powerful source of information for all involved in sectional title property management, sales, rentals and ownership,” comments Chantel Van Heerden, chairperson of the National Association of Managing Agents (NAMA).

Win a copy of the latest Demystifying Sectional Title by subscribing to Property Wheel’s bi-weekly newsletter below:

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Competition Ts and Cs apply. This competition closes on the 31st of August 2023. The winner will be notified via email by the 4th of September 2023.