Can my outdoor spa land me in hot water?

2017-03-15 06:02
Cleo Mukhari

Cleo Mukhari

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Question:

My wife and I have recently moved into a sectional title unit. We used to have an outdoor spa at our previous house and would like install one again, but we are not sure what the rules of sectional title schemes are when it comes to installing spa baths. Do I need permission, or can I continue?

Answer:

Before installing a spa bath or jacuzzi in your sectional title unit, you should consider a few things.

Firstly, it is important to distinguish whether the area you wish to install the spa bath in forms part of the common property of the sectional title scheme or forms part of your section.

A sectional title unit is defined as a section together with its undivided share in the common property.

The common property is owned jointly by all the sectional owners within the scheme, is controlled by the body corporate and is made freely accessible to all the sectional title owners. A sectional owner, who has a right to the exclusive use of a demarcated area of the common property, may, however, exclude other sectional owners from exercising rights on that part of the common property.

Improvements to such an exclusive use area require the consent of the trustees, which may not be withheld without good reason.

Should your spa be placed inside your section, there is no general requirement to obtain consent from the body corporate. However, should the spa affect the electrical or water supply or require alterations to the plumbing or electrical installations of the scheme or possibly have an impact on other sections, the consent of the body corporate will be needed.

The levels of nuisance and maintenance should also be considered.

It must be considered whether the spa bath may cause a disturbance or nuisance to the other sectional title owners. Spa baths can be noisy and even visually cause a nuisance to other owners, which may result in the body corporate requiring the removal of the spa bath. Furthermore, failure to maintain and clean the spa bath may affect the cleanliness and hygiene of your unit and potentially result in the body corporate requiring its ­removal.

Consider the above factors carefully before you install a spa bath and rather obtain the necessary consent to avoid later disputes. It is also wise to scrutinise the rules of your sectional title scheme to check for any ­prohibitions or specific consents required for such an installation.

– Cleo Mukhari, candidate attorney, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys

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