Alterations made by Owners
Owners are allowed to make alterations to their sections but there are conditions to this.
The body corporate must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a member or any other occupier of a section or exclusive use area does not—
(d) make alterations to a section or an exclusive use area that are likely to impair the stability of the building or interfere with the use and enjoyment of other sections, the common property or any exclusive use area
(e) do anything to a section or exclusive use area that has a material negative affect on the value or utility of any other section or exclusive use area
(g) construct or place any structure or building improvement on an exclusive use area which in practice constitutes a section or an extension of the boundaries or floor area of a section without complying with the requirements of the Act and the Sectional Titles Act; provided that the body corporate may by ordinary resolution —
(i) give consent for such a structure or building improvement, if they are satisfied that it does not require compliance with such requirements;
(ii) prescribe any reasonable condition in regard to the use or appearance of the structure or building improvement; and
(iii) withdraw any consent if the member or other occupier of a section breaches any such condition.
Should an owner want to make alterations to the common property they would need the approval of all owners. It is advisable the owner rather be given exclusive use rights to this portion of the common property in which case he or she will only am ordinary resolution to be passed by the Body Corporate – the Body Corporate can impose reasonable conditions in terms of the construction and future maintenance.
Should an owner however which to increase the floor area of his or her section there is a whole section in the Sectional Titles Act that deals with that (Section 24). It will first need to be determined if the area is already part of his section (included in the floor area shown on the sectional plan) or if it is part of the common property (it does not matter if it is part of his exclusive use area)
For example – if your unit has an open balcony that is included in the floor area of your section you will only have to ask permission from the Trustees and only ito the structural stability and the negative impact on the values of the units of the complex. If the balcony (strange as it may seem) is not part of the floor area shown on the sectional plan (even though it may be your exclusive use area) you are extending your section and should follow Section 24 of the ST Act.