Windows in sectional title schemes:
The body corporate is responsible to repair and maintain common property whilst the owner is responsible to maintain the inside of his section up to the median line of the floors, walls, and ceilings. Windows are permanent structures located in the outer wall of the section. Are they common property or part of the owner's section?
If the windows are located on the inside of the median line, they are part of the section and if they are located on the outside of the median line they are common property.
What happens if windows are situated exactly on the median line or any part thereof?
The median line of the dividing walls follows the median line of all structures therein. This means every window situated in the outer wall is half part of the owner's section and half common property. When it comes to repairs and maintenance, if no party is at fault, the costs should be divided 50/50 between the owner of the section and the body corporate.
This is a rather impractical approach and this issue will be addressed in the proposed amendments to the sectional title act yet to be promulgated.
The proposed amendment recognizes the existence of doors and windows by a simple amendment to s 5(5) (a) in terms of which any such feature situated in a boundary wall (or floor or ceiling) of a section, 'shall be considered to form part of such floor, wall or ceiling.'
For more information, please visit www.ihfm.co.za.