Special levy raised equally on all owners

We need to raise a special levy for lift maintenance. It must be split equally between all owners as it will not be fair on the owners of bigger ground floor units if they have to pay more when it is calculated per participation quota (PQ) and they don’t even use the lifts. How do we assist these Trustees?

The short answer – Welcome to Sectional Title!

Unfortunately size does matter in sectional title schemes – so although the bigger units will have to pay a larger levy they also have the benefit of a bigger vote as voting is also calculated on PQ.

However, there is a way around this: changing the use of PQs to nominated values.  This means that a value is allocated to each unit that has nothing to do with the size of the unit.  Just keep in mind that this will then also affect the calculation of normal levies as well as the weight of the votes.

The way to change from PQ to nominated values is to pass a special resolution – and you would also need written permission from all those owners that are adversely affected.

Quote from the STSM Act:

Section 11. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the quota of a section must determine—

  1. the value of the vote of the owner of the section, in any case where the vote is to be reckoned in value;
  2. the undivided share in the common property of the owner of the section; and
  3. subject to section 3(1)(b), the proportion in which the owner of the section must make contributions for the purposes of section 3(1)(a) or may in terms of section 14(1) be held liable for the payment of a judgement debt of the body corporate of which he or she is a member.

 (2) (a) Subject to section 3(1)(b), the developer may, when submitting an application for the opening of a sectional title register in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, or the members of the body corporate may by special resolution, make rules under section 10 by which a different value is attached to the vote of the owner of any section, or the liability of the owner of any section to make contribution for the purposes of section 3(1)(a) or 14(1) is modified. 

(b) Where an owner is adversely affected by such a decision of the body corporate, his or her prior written consent must be obtained.