Despite elections being over and the promises from Eskom, many people are still installing generators to keep the lights on. Freehold property owners can do so at will, but what are your rights as an owner in a sectional title scheme?
In terms of annexure 9 of the Sectional Titles Act (the Act), an owner of a section may not store any materials (such as petrol), do or cause to be done any dangerous act that may lead to the increase of the rate levied in terms of any insurance policy. Further, in terms of Section 44(1)(e) of the Act, an owner or occupier of a section may not use his section or exclusive use area in a way that would cause nuisance to any other occupier in the scheme. Generators are generally very noisy and produce the highly toxic odourless, colourless gas carbon monoxide. In order to change the rules to allow for the installation of generators, a special resolution has to be obtained. This requires agreement from at least 75% of the owners in the scheme. This is often very difficult to obtain when not all owners can afford or have the need for a generator.
There are, however, alternative solutions for sectional title owners who are left in the dark. The trustees of the Body Corporate may elect to install a generator on the common property that would benefit all owners of sections in the scheme. To fund this, the reserve fund could be utilised in limited circumstances, or by way of a special levy. Failing this, individual owners can install safe and silent inverters in their sections or exclusive use areas without contravention of the applicable sections and prescribed management rules of the Act.