As Sectional Title specialists in Cape Town Southern Suburbs, with a dedicated Sectional Title team managed by Ranate Boni, ( TeamSectionalTitle.co.za ) but we are frankly alarmed at the increasing number of poorly managed blocks in our franchise.
It is typical that in these complexes owners seldom attend meetings and hold an opinion that someone else will worry about their investment. This is a dangerous game, as a result is we are seeing more and more blocks where the managing agents are unmotivated with owners that are disinterested, trustees are reluctant and the Chairperson of Body Corporate is doing a thankless task and suffering high levels of 'demotivation'.
When the rot sets in, a process of events can result in a significant loss of value in your property and in extreme cases you may find yourself sitting with an investment that has become a liability where the only tenant you can get fits a high risk profile as more desirable tenants move out the block. The sectional title complex can become one where most professional agents will not ‘touch it with a barge pole’ let alone a For Sale board with their company logo on it!
We recently had a seller begging us to list their property in a block where we have decided it is no longer safe or viable to work even after we were offered 10% commission to sell it. We are after all business people and not here to put ourselves at any personal or other risks in blocks that are more than unpleasant to work in.
In our opinion, this is virtually always a process that starts with owners who are investors and are detached from the quality of life offered to those living in the complex. Their only concern is short term maximum rental returns and the quality of the tenant is of little interest and often left to an agent. The owner may thus never ever meet the tenant avoiding a hands off approach. Let’s be clear anyone can get a tenant and one that pays well (for a while) but that should never be a sound business decision without other factors.
The other critical issue is not getting involved as the owner in the meetings of the Body Corporate and regarding it as a hassle for someone else. It just can’t work like that! Shared ownership carries a great responsibility and a shared responsibility to each other as owners and in a sound relationship with the managing agents. If owners don’t care, don’t think the managing agents will. They do not own the property and to be frank many know that disinterested owners mean the chances they’ll get booted out are virtually nil!
So if you are the owner of a sectional title property, get involved. Many hands make like work as they say, but above all you will be looking after your best interests. At Chas Everitt Southern Suburbs we have shown we can sell an apartment for up to 50% more than another in a very similar complex in the same area because of the administration, the ‘books’ and maintenance. Neglect is quickly self-evident. If you are really not interested in the responsibilities that come with a sectional title investment unfortunately it is not only you that will have to accept the consequences.
We are investigating the creation of a Sectional Title Rating System and we will encourage other sectional title agents in the Cape Town area to participate in it. Sellers and buyers can enjoy the benefit of an objective opinion. It should be clear that buyers need and deserve objective collective information to help them make a good decision. For more enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org