News & Advice Commercial, Trending

sectional title home

The sluggish economy and declining employment over the past few years have prompted an increasing number of people to start their own businesses as a way of earning an income, and the latest available statistics indicate that at least 10% of South Africa’s working adults are now self-employed.

“And of course most of these small or micro-business owners can’t afford to rent an office, shop or manufacturing space, so their enterprises are almost by definition home-based,” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of leading national property management company Trafalgar.”

“In addition, an increasing number of those who are in employment have been enabled by technology to work from home and are choosing to do so most of the time now rather than commute to an office every day.”

However, he says, establishing a home-based business or full-time home office in a sectional title (ST) scheme can be problematic, and owners must be sure to do things the right way or they could find their fledging enterprises grounded for good.

“It is clear from the Sectional Titles Act that a flat or townhouse is intended for residential use, and generally cannot be used as an office or place of business – unless the owners of every other unit in the ST scheme agree in writing to a change of use. This means that owners who have not secured this consent can be told by the trustees of the scheme to immediately close their home-based businesses or face legal action.”

“On the other hand, times and lifestyles have changed so much since the Act was introduced that we as managing agents always encourage owners  and trustees to consider change-of-use applications very carefully rather than just rejecting them out of hand. Running a home-based business may be the only way for a fellow-owner to earn a living and keep up his levy payments, for example, so agreeing to him doing so may be in their own interests.”

Schaefer says that, as in many other ST matters, there is likely to be a high degree of subjectivity involved in consideration of a “change of use” application, but that there are three main factors that the members of the body corporate can use to guide their decision to grant or withhold permission.

“The first of these is noise, and on that basis, an accounting or computing business is a whole different proposition to a vehicle repair or woodworking business, for example.”

The next thing for the other owners to think about, he says, is the possible inconvenience or “nuisance” the business may cause, particularly in regard to security and parking.

“So if the business is a delivery company, for example, or a service enterprise like a cleaning or catering or recruitment company that would involve staff or customers coming and going all day, consent might not be a good idea. Having said that, though, a teaching or coaching business that only attracts one customer at a time or a professional business with only one or two regular employees might not cause the other owners in the scheme any inconvenience at all.”

Schaefer says the third factor to consider, with particular regard to advertising and signage, is the provision in the prescribed management rules for ST schemes that prevents owners or residents from doing anything that might harm the ‘reputation’ of their scheme.

“Owners generally don’t want their ST scheme to lose its residential character and end up looking like an office park or a mini-factory complex with many signboards advertising the various businesses that it houses – and quite rightly so, as that would most likely have a negative effect on the value of all homes in the scheme.”

“Consequently, even if they do approve the change of use and establishment of a home-based business, they may want to veto the placement of any advertising material or signage for that business anywhere on the common property.”

This article “Can You Run A Business From A Sectional Title Home?” was issued by Trafalgar Property Group.

Shares 0

Leave a Reply

You might also like...

3 Security Considerations When Renting A Property
Ask These Questions When Buying A Flat
Aspiring Landlords – What You Need to Know
Don’t Let Criminals Take The Pleasure Out Of Your Leisure
Comments: Budget on Economic Growth
Should You Ever Buy or Sell Property To a Friend or Relative?
New Generation Digs Now On The Rise
Western Cape House Prices Remain Steady
Investment hot spots – Waterfront and Clifton apartment prices hit historic highs despite economic lows
Sectional Title Scheme: NEW LEVY STRUCTURE Required!
South African Holiday Towns Now Underperforming Metros
Stronger Rand Makes South African Property Expensive For Foreign Buyers
Know The Risks Before Building Airbnb Castles In The Sky
Room Orientation And Natural Light: Beautify Your Space Naturally
What Will Residential Property Market Do In 2017?
4 Tips To Improve Your Home Value With These Holiday Maintenance Projects
Trump Win: What It Means For Real Estate In South Africa
How Millennials Are Changing The Real Estate Market
Investment hot spots – Waterfront and Clifton apartment prices hit historic highs despite economic lows
First-Time Home Buyer Should Act Sooner Rather Than Later
Buyers in Cape Winelands Predominantly Gauteng Semigrants, Increasingly Europeans
South African Holiday Towns Now Underperforming Metros
Time To Make The Right Choice For Retirement Living
5 Ways To Maximise Your Credit Rating
Budget Tips For A Smooth Switch From Renting To Owning
Buy First And Cut Your Stress Level
How To Avoid Buyers Remorse
Occupational Rent And Your Rights
How Millennials Can Save For A Deposit
Conveyancing Fees: What Are You Paying For?
6 Steps To Prevent Property Transfer Delays
10 Steps To Choosing The Right Investment Property
How Do You Know You Are Ready To Buy?
Create Home Buyer Appeal Through Home Staging
Is There A Difference Between Offers?
How To Decide When To Sell
Does My Agent Care About Me Or Just The Commission?
3 Questions To Ask Before Listing Your Home
I Just Bought A Home – Now I’m Unexpectedly Being Transferred
What Is The Difference Between Value And Marketability?
Time To Stage Your Home When Selling
Get Higher Offers On Your Empty Home
When Is The Best Time To Sell A Property?
How Important Is Financial Fitness For Home Sellers?
Real Estate’s Dirty Little Secret And Why It’s Costing You Money!
5 Top Draw Cards For Millennial Buyers
4 Home Selling Misconceptions Debunked
Selling A Home With Pets
Is It Possible To Terminate A Lease Agreement Without Recourse?
New Generation Digs Now On The Rise
When Is Your Rent Due?
Gauteng Property Rental Market Forecasts Growth
Keeping Track of Parking On Common Property
How And When To Legally Evict Tenants
The Rental Housing Amendment Act: Waiting For Light In The Dark?
Tenants: Be Aware Of Ongoing Credit Checks
How To Rent With Pets
Is My Landlord Liable To Provide Security?
Why Are Property Inspections So Important?
Rental Property: To Furnish Or Not To Furnish?
Why Prevention Is Better Than Cure: Eviction Procedures For Landlords
Important Insurance Issues For Landlords
Stay In The Rental Market Or Buy?
5 Mistakes To Avoid When Relocating
7 Tips For Packing And Moving Quickly
Moving? Things To Think About!
Maximising Small Spaces
7 Tips To Help Your Children To Adapt To The Move
What To Do With Your Home When You Have To Relocate
Moving With Pets Can Be Tricky
Estate Agent Moving Tips
Telltale Signs You Need A New Home
Seven Signs You Need A New Nest
Über Wealthy On The Increase And On The Move
Comments: Budget on Economic Growth
Investment hot spots – Waterfront and Clifton apartment prices hit historic highs despite economic lows
First-Time Home Buyer Should Act Sooner Rather Than Later
Sectional Title Scheme: NEW LEVY STRUCTURE Required!
Buyers in Cape Winelands Predominantly Gauteng Semigrants, Increasingly Europeans
Dangers of Debt Consolidation Without A Plan
5 Biggest Downsides of Paying Off Your Bond
Push Into South African Real Estate Not Slowing Down
Problems Repaying Your Bond? Get The Banks In Your Corner!
How To Kill The Interest On Your Bond
Risk And The Role In Determining Insurance Premiums
Keeping Repo Rate Stable Makes Sound Economic Sense
Effects Of Higher Interest Rates On The Property Market?
How Will A Sub-Investment Status Impact The Property Market?
Is Property Still The Safest Investment In 2016?
Know The Risks Before Building Airbnb Castles In The Sky
Green Buildings Catching On In South Africa
Digital Disruption And The South African Commercial Real Estate Market
Can You Run A Business From A Sectional Title Home?
What’s Driving Change In The Commercial Property Sector?
5 Ways Commercial Property Space Planning Can Save You Money
Investing In Commercial Property an Attractive Option
3 Obvious Signs That It’s Time For Office Relocation
3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Vacant Land
Price Correction In Commercial Property Market
South Africa: Evolution of Industrial Properties
The Commercial Times Are Changing
Healthy, Sustained Demand For Commercial Property
Incoming Inspections Are Vital For Rental Property
Which Factors Cause Property Values To Increase?