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Monday Feb 12, 2018

Managing storage in sectional title schemes

While most homes in cluster complexes and other gated communities come with one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.

"The trouble is there is usually not enough space to create an extra parking bay or storage unit for every household, and a scramble for the existing spaces can cause conflict between homeowners,” says Gerhard Kotze, managing director of the RealNet estate agency group.

"However, the homeowner' association can prevent this by passing a resolution not to allow anyone to have 'exclusive use' of any limited amenity without payment of rent to the association, which can be used to help keep everyone’s monthly assessments or levies down.”

The rental charged, he says, should be based on local parking and storage rates and, for practical reasons, the association should lease the spaces and collect the rent annually.

This is particularly true of space leased for holiday vehicles like caravans, where renters would probably pay only for part of the year if they could, leaving an unpaid vacancy while they travel.

"Renting a year at a time also ensures a steady income stream for the homeowner' association, and collecting the rent annually reduces bookkeeping.

Kotze says multiple rents by one owner should not be allowed unless supply exceeds demand in the complex, and then only if the association reserves the right to review the situation annually.

"Reapportioning limited amenities when demand again exceeds supply is only fair.”

Kotze says: "Amenities should generally not be leased to non-residents. Security could easily be compromised by doing so, and the association would have little recourse against non-residents who defaulted on rent or caused damage.”

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