Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Building a Sectional Title Community

Sectional title community

Some of the best sectional title schemes to live in are NOT the fanciest buildings with the best facilities. They are the ones where the members of the body corporate feel a sense of community and a sense of belonging. Members matter to one another and to the group, and there is a shared faith that each member’s needs will be met through their commitment to be together.

Sound like a far-fetched sectional title utopia?

Maybe it is. But to put it bluntly – you’re stuck with these people so why not make your dealings with them positive and enjoyable?

Here we outline the factors that contribute to a great community and below we give you some suggestions to kick start your scheme’s community spirit:


Each owner in the sectional title scheme automatically becomes a member of the body corporate when their unit is transferred into their name. But here we are talking about membership in a more emotional sense.  This first factor involves a feeling of belonging, being included and relating to the other members. Members identify with the group and become willing to sacrifice for the good of the group.

In your scheme it’s important to avoid forming cliques where a few owners stick together and disregard the others. This leads to other owners feeling that they don’t belong and are not part of the group; which in turn leads to a greater chance of disrespecting the group.

Include everyone in the scheme; make them feel welcome and important.


The second factor relates to a person feeling that their opinions can have an influence over the group.

Allow each person to feel heard in meetings and take each person’s point of view into account when making decisions.

Research has shown that the most influential people within a group are those who acknowledge the importance of others’ opinions, values and needs. So if you want your opinion to count, you should acknowledge the opinions of others first.

Integration and fulfillment of goals

The third factor relates to a member feeling that his needs will be met by the resources of the group. It also means that members feel positively rewarded in some way for their involvement in the community.

This could mean that a member feels a sense of satisfaction through contributing to an upgrade of the common property and feels rewarded when seeing and enjoying the finished product.

Shared emotional connection

The fourth element develops over time as members create a shared history together. “Remember at the 2010 AGM when…”. It also develops as members share space, saying hello when passing each other on the common property and perhaps taking more of a positive interest in other members. You could ask another member how their children are or compliment them on a new car.

Some ideas to kick start the closeness of your community:

  • Arrange a community notice board in the foyer where owners and residents can share helpful information with each other (after obtaining consent from the trustees)
  • Start a community newsletter
  • Create a FaceBook page for your scheme and add all the owners and residents as friends
  • Have an annual BYO braai for all owners and residents on the common property (after obtaining the consent of the trustees of course!)
  • Send all the owners and residents a link to this blog

Do you have a great sectional title community? Comment below with your advice for others.

Sectional Title Community

Image sources:,

Info credit: The factors outlined above are based on a theory from the mid 1980s that stands at the center of most sense of community understanding (McMillan & Chavis, 1986).


One comment on “Building a Sectional Title Community

  1. Anne Greening
    May 2, 2013

    Although it’s not part of their duties under the ST Act, the Trustees have a crucial role in creating a community spirit. I like to think that our complex has come a long way to achieveing that. It helps that we’re all pensioners, and therefore have regular contact with one another. Some of our residents have formed a social group, and they arrange regular get-togethers. We have a well-stocked library, where there’s always a buzz of conversation during opening hours. A community newsletter was started about 13 years ago. Any comments or complaints from residents are dealt with reasonable swiftly by the Trustees. Our offices are open daily, and anyone is welcome to drop in (which sometimes make working difficult; but we like to be friendly). And of course we self-manage, which means that residents are dealing with people who share their daily lives, and not a remote MA in an office somewhere.

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2013 by in People and tagged , , .

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