By Anton Kelly
Anton KellyMost new residential properties in South Africa are developed either as a sectional title scheme or as a home owners’ association. Complexes, gated villages and cluster developments are names most commonly used to refer to these types of developments. They can be quite small, consisting of as few as eight or nine dwellings, perhaps in a single block, or they can be very large with hundreds of houses and incorporate golf courses, tennis clubs and the like. When people want to own their piece of land but want to live in a community development, the home owners’ association is the answer.

How is a home owners’ association (HOA) created? There are three main steps.

Step 1

Firstly, the properties that are to be managed by the association must be created. This usually involves the subdivision of a large parcel of land into the separate lots or erven that will be individually owned. One or some of these individual parcels of land will be owned by the association and will be “communal property”: the entrance and interior roads, and perhaps gardens in the simpler developments. One of the conditions of the subdivision approval will be that the new township be managed by an HOA.
Home Owners' Association Management course
Step 2

Secondly, the HOA must be created as a legal entity independent of its members. This condition will allow it to own the communal property and do everything necessary to manage the development as the owners of the individual properties change from time to time. This legal entity is usually established in one of two ways: either as a non-profit company in terms of section 21 of the Companies Act, or as a common law association.

The non-profit HOA company is constituted and registered like any other non-profit company; there are no special requirements for its registration simply because it will serve as the management body of an HOA. Common law HOAs are established when two or more people formally agree that it be established. There are no registration formalities; its terms are laid out in its constitution, which is signed by its founding members.

Step 3

The third part of the process is the transfer of the individual properties from the developer to the new owners and the registration of the title deed conditions that are necessary to bind those owners to the HOA. These conditions make the owners members of the HOA and they are therefore liable for levies and must also obey the rules of the association.


Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 5, Issue 12, Page 1

Anton Kelly is one of the Course Conveners of the Paddocks Home Owners’ Association Management course. The next course starts 21 February 2011.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.  


  • Good day I live in a crescent & we would like to find out if we can form a Homeowners Association within our crescent. We are about 100 – 110 homeowners with one entrance in and out. We would also like to put up a boom gate. Please can you advise how we can do that & What are the requirements.

  • Good day, Our reserve is already has a well established common law association and members signed the Constitution. What can we do to for it to be legally binding? such as paying levies? MUST the Title deed be endorsed to mention the association for them to be liable for levies? Can we start a debt collecting process at the attorneys? They just refuse to pay and if they sell the property – they leave the unpaid account.

  • Paul Drake
    05/03/2020 14:27

    We are in the process of forming a homeowners association. The properties concerned are in a gentleman’s agreement gated community. We are voting on the adoption of a constitution and would then need to have this made binding on the deeds of all properties by means of a majority vote.
    How do we accomplish this ?
    Kind regards .