How to avoid sectional title parking conflicts

Living in a sectional title scheme sometimes results in arguing and fighting over parking spaces. Who is responsible for deciding where one parks? Is it a free for all parking matter?

According to a Fitzanne Estates property agent, “When it comes to parking bays in a sectional title scheme you must note the type of ownership that one has in a sectional title scheme.

Firstly, you will have full ownership of your section that you purchased. Secondly, you will have an undivided share in the common property of the scheme”

He added, “Thirdly, you may have a right to an exclusive use area such as a parking bay or a garden area. This does not imply full ownership.

The owner or occupier of a section must not (except in the case of an emergency) without the written consent of the trustee of the scheme park a vehicle, allow a vehicle to stand or permit a visitor to park or stand a vehicle on any part of the common property.”

Problems can arise in a sectional title scheme especially when home owners do not agree on who can use additional bays. Some home owners tend to want to use exclusive certain parking places and this hence causes conflicts.

The solution to this problem can be solved if the body corporate can set up a rental pool which allows homeowners to lease parking bays on an annual basis

The property agent noted, “Letting of common property in this way is covered in the Act, and such a system also means that the body corporate receives a steady income from the parking, because any bays that go vacant can immediately be re-let to other owners that need them.”

He also stated, “Another problem is what to do with a common parking bay that has been used by a homeowner, who is then selling their home. A general rule that can be used to solve this issue is to prevent homeowners to have the power to transfer the lease over to anyone else, including the new owners of their unit.

These parking bays should go back into the rental pool and let to the next person on the waiting list. Indeed, the only time that a unit owner can sell a parking bay is if it is an exclusive use area in terms of the plans.

We advise anyone who is buying a sectional title unit and being asked to pay for such a space to first confirm that this is actually the case by referring to the sectional title plan.”

It is also vital for the body corporate to make sure that solutions to sectional title schemes parking are in place so as to avoid conflict and to make sure that all homeowners are on the same page.

Many sectional title schemes have tacit arrangements, generally established over long periods of time, in respect of who is “entitled” to park where. Hence it’s vital to seek clarity and full understanding of where you can park.