By Prof Graham Paddock

Prof Graham PaddockBelow is an example of two of the questions on the discussion forum on Paddocks Club. We want to show what is available to our Community Members!Who is liable for insurance excess?
Q1. I have been advised by our managing agents that I am liable for the insurance excess of R1,000 on a damages claim of R1,120 to our bathroom ceiling, which resulted from the roof not being properly maintained and repaired by the body corporate. The managing agent said the person submitting the claim is responsible for the excess due to a recent change in the Act; however, I did not ask the managing agents to submit a claim on my behalf and I did not and have not signed the acceptance of loss form yet as the managing agents never sent it back to me, which they should have in June 2011. I just asked them to fix the damage.Please advise if I am liable to pay the excess or how I should handle this?

A1. Tell the managing agent that the damage within your section is the direct result of the body corporate’s failure to maintain the common property roof. So even if you would be otherwise liable for the excess payment in terms of PMR 29(4), you would have a claim against the body corporate for the amount because your liability to pay it arises from the body corporate’s failure to carry out its statutory duty to keep the roof in good repair.


Owner wants to move kitchen window frame

Paddocks ClubQ2.1. In the complex I manage, one of the owners is in the process of renovating his entire unit by replacing all tiles and redoing his kitchen and bathrooms (he practically gutted his whole unit). In this process, he has removed the entire kitchen window and intends replacing the same frame but in a different position to be able to fit additional cupboards in the kitchen. Should the trustees allow this? Does LM approval need to be acquired? This change will not affect the complex aesthetically.

A2.1. If this window frame is in the section’s boundary wall, as I assume it to be, this proposed alteration involves a change to the common property and this must not be done without the trustees’ written consent, as required by PCR 4(1) – click here to see it (link available to members only).

If the trustees do approve it, I suggest that they make very sure that the work to the common property is well done and that the owner is responsible for its quality.

Q2.2. It has now come to light that the intention of the owner is not just to move the position of the window, but to replace the existing window with a much smaller window. Do the trustees have the authority to approve this change to the common property or does this need a special resolution? The window is not really visible as it is enclosed in the garage, which was originally built as a carport, but now the owner wants to enclose it. Does this infringe on any municipal restriction in terms of the original plans?

A2.2. The replacement of a large window with a smaller one, in isolation, is unlikely to require local municipality building survey approval, but perhaps it is best to call and check.

But my reading of your last posting is that this “minor” amendment to the common property is in fact part of the enclosure of a carport, so that it will now be part of the interior living space. This would require amended building plans because carports are not designed to be enclosed.

In addition, if the enclosure of the carport adds to the floor area of the section so that it can, for example, be used as a laundry, storeroom or extended living area, it is a section extension and the owner needs to follow the process in section 24 of the Act, ending up with an amended sectional plan showing the increased area as part of the section.

Please check these aspects.

Article reference:
Paddocks Press: Volume 6, Issue 11, Page 4

Professor Graham Paddock is now only available to answer questions on the discussion forum for Community Members of Paddocks Club. Get all your questions answered by joining Graham on this community platform. Join Paddocks Club at

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