With strained power utility Eskom warning South Africans to expect load shedding for the next two years at least, many property owners and businesses are hurriedly buying generators.
While generators are fast becoming a necessity in South African homes, their installation in complexes is the subject of heated debate, according to sectional title property specialist Marina Constas, a director of BBM Attorneys.
But, she stresses, if trustees and homeowners arm themselves with the facts, a generator could be an invaluable acquisition for every sectional title development aiming to adapt to load shedding.
Constas’s first word of advice is that it is preferable to have one generator for the complex, rather than permitting individual owners to have their own generators.
Once this has been agreed, a point in question is whether a complex buying a generator is making a “necessary” or a “luxurious” improvement to the development. Different resolutions are required for each, according to the Sectional Titles Act.
“If it is a luxurious improvement, then a unanimous resolution is required in terms of Management Rule 33 (1),” Constas says. “If the generator is seen as a necessary improvement, then a special resolution is required and the procedure set out in Management Rule 33 (2) must be complied with.”
“Among the stipulations is that owners must receive all the costs at a special general meeting. They will need everything in front of them before they are able to decide, and take the special resolution. A special levy may then be imposed for the generator’s service and maintenance.”
Constas believes that in view of the security risks posed by electricity outages and load shedding, an immovable generator is a necessity. She says a complex’s security systems are generally dependent on the electricity supply. Electric fencing, alarms, electric gates and intercoms may be affected if there is a power outage, and home owners put at risk. For this reason, a generator should, in most instances, be viewed as a necessary improvement to the sectional title scheme.
When it comes to generators, however, not all units are created equal, and in a complex in particular, the noise emitted is a significant consideration. Constas recommends that trustees should investigate all options and attempt to buy the generator with the lowest noise levels.
“The generator should be stored where it will cause the least amount of nuisance to all home owners in the scheme, and where the fumes will not affect the owners,” she says.
This article “Sectional Title Property Owners And Generators” was issued by BBM Attorneys.