SOLAR IS COMPLEX – STAYING IN A COMPLEX AND WANT TO INSTALL SOLAR, WHAT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF…

With the ongoing need to source alternative power solutions in your residence, to do this in a scheme is slightly more “complex” than it seems.

If you own a unit in a complex, you own the interior of that unit, termed a “section”, as well as an “undivided share in the common property”, where the “common property” is all other areas of the complex, not owned by the other unit owners. An “undivided share” means that you would own a portion, divided by the number of units in the complex, of that common property. It is “undivided” as it is not specific as to what exact portion you own, as you would make use of all of the areas, together. It is for this reason that levies are usually charged to all unit owners, by the body corporate, to maintain this common property, who would also be tasked to ensure the rules of the complex are adhered to. The body corporate consists of the unit owners, and such body corporate entity is usually managed by either a managing agent and/or trustees.

It therefore goes without saying that the body corporate is responsible for the common property, which includes the outer walls of the units, and of course the roof space.  Therefore, if any solar solutions are being considered, the common property would be utilised, and the body corporate would therefore have to take a decision thereon.

Some aspects to be aware of, as a unit owner, when approaching the Body Corporate would include:

The CONDUCT RULES in place in relation to the utilization of common property, in this case, for solar.  Is provision made for a CONSENT from the trustees, or is it by special or unanimous RESOLUTION of the body corporate?

If a consent is made provision for, any consent requested would have to be considered by the body corporate or trustees or managing agent once the following has been considered, assessed and clarified:

·       Structural integrity of the building where the panels will be installed.

·       Waterproofing of the roof and other common property areas and walls.

·       Fire safety precautions.

·       Licensed installers to be utilized only for compliance purposes.

·       Maintenance of the installed items and waterproofing.

·       Nuisance, noise and disturbance to neighbours during installation.

·       Tidying and cleaning of site each day.

·       Repairing any damage caused to common property.

·       Insurance on installed items payable by the owner.

·       Indemnities for Body Corporate again loss or damage.

·      Body Corporate’s rights in relation to removal, emergency repairs or halting of installation.

For any clarity or more information relating to the above, please contact Tuckers attorneys on 011 897 1900, 076 777 1920 or info@tuckers.co.za.

Article contributed by Hayley Appel of Tuckers attorneys.