For many Non Residents, the appeal of buying in a Sectional Title Scheme is strong. This is because of the “lock up and go” appeal. However there are many points to consider before buying a Sectional Title property.
Sectional Title Schemes are run by a Body Corporate that consists of all the owners of each unit in the Scheme/Complex. These owners elect a Board of Trustees to manage the day-to-day operations of the complex. Ensure you check the audited Financials of the body corporate as well as the minutes from the last Annual General Meeting (AGM) before signing at Offer to Purchase. These will give a good indication as to the financial status of the Scheme, how well it is managed and whether all members of the Body Corporate are happy with the way the complex is run.
Looking through the Conduct rules is important as once you have signed the OTP and taken occupation you have to abide by these rules (Are you allowed to have a pet? No loud noise after 10pm etc).
When putting in at offer and signing at OTP be sure that you understand and are fully aware of the terms and conditions of each clause in the contract. Look out for things such as the developers rights to change aspects of the unit without your consent, changes in fixtures and fittings, what levies are expected and if there are any special levies that may arise in the future?
Check what the unit is sold with. Is there a parking bay included? And if so, where is its location? Parking bays, closed off gardens and storerooms are generally Exclusive Use Areas. An EUA is, in very simple terms, a right to use a common area all to yourself.
Lastly another important thing to check is that the unit number matches up with the section number on a Sectional Title plan. Although very uncommon, it has on occasion happened where an owner, upon taking occupation has actually bought the wrong unit. It is therefore vital to check that everything matches up.
The benefits of buying in a Sectional Title Scheme are great. Maintenance is taken care of, you may have use of a gym, swimming pool, bbq areas etc. and you have the ease of “lock up and go.” In summary, be sure you understand what you are signing for and all will end well.