Legal firm Wright Rose Innes tackles the issue of shared parking spaces in South African sectional title schemes and the legal rights of tenants.
According to the firm, an owner of a sectional title unit has full ownership of the section as well as an undivided share in the common property – usually the area where visitor parking is located.
“General visitor parking is for use by all the residents of a sectional title and as such the owner or occupier of a unit is not allowed to park any vehicle or allow any vehicle to stand on such visitor parking if not as a visitor,” it said.
The firm said that resident vehicles may only be parked in the parking bay allocated to the unit owner either in terms of a registered notarial deed or in terms of the rules of the scheme.
“A vehicle of a resident may therefore only be parked or allowed to stand on visitors parking in the case of an emergency or with prior written consent of the trustees of the body corporate of the scheme. If the consent is granted, the duration thereof must be clearly indicated.”
But what happens if a resident parks or allows someone (non-visitor) to park in visitors parking without such consent?
The first step is for the body corporate to ask the resident to stop the transgression, Wright Rose Innes said. It added that the rules of the scheme may even provide for sanctions like a fine to be imposed on the resident.
“If however that still does not work, the trustees of the scheme are entitled to deal with any breach by a member of the body corporate of the rules of the scheme with the use of various enforcement measures, including the institution of legal proceedings through which the body corporate takes legal action against the resident to stop the resident from continuing with the action.
“Should the body corporate fail to take such action, individual residents as well as any person who is a party to or materially affected by a dispute, can bring an application to the Community Schemes Ombud Service for assistance.”