Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Can an Owner Run a Business From Home in Sectional Title?

Working from home sectional title

By Carryn Mellisa Durham

A question that pops up again and again for the Paddocks team is:

Can an owner run a business from his section in a sectional title scheme?

Our Answer: Prescribed Management Rule 68(1)(ii) prohibits the carrying on of a business in the building, but one needs to distinguish between someone quietly working from home, for example one who sits in front of his computer, working entirely online and using the phone – which doesn’t involve any nuisance, and running a business that disrupts the residential harmony of the scheme. In our opinion, the former should be allowed whilst the latter should not.

Section 44(1)(e) of the Sectional Titles Act prohibits an owner from using his section in a manner that causes a nuisance to any other occupier in the scheme. Examples of nuisance caused by running a business from a section in a sectional title scheme include:

  • Clients constantly coming in and out of the property, compromising security
  • Visitors parking bays being monopolized
  • Loud machinery being used
  • Illegal activities taking place

Furthermore, it should be considered whether the owner is breaching any municipal by-laws or residential zoning restrictions contrary to PMR 68(1)(ii).

What has your experience been on this subject? Share with us by commenting below…

Advertisements

9 comments on “Can an Owner Run a Business From Home in Sectional Title?

  1. Mrs J J Schlemmer
    April 3, 2017

    I live in a small “Complex in Durbanville with the most horrible neighbors who simply DONT care a damn about other neighbors’s “Peace!! Opp me the guy is a “Running an ILLEGAL business” by making wooden furniture on “ORDERS!!!” He uses “machinery SO LOUD and unbearable!! (24/7!) weekend FULLtime!!! I cannot bare the NOISE any longer!!) He claims he got “permission from the HOAss?? (where his wife!! is a socall member!!) She even “MIS-USES” the water restriction as to water her garden with a hose for hours!! BUTT this “Home business iss “UNbearable!! I have reported this to the “Law Enforcement who then “handed my complaint over to the Property Inspector to investigate..?? will THEY be able to “STOPP this mean people/man (swored at me and almost asault me!!!!! when I wanted lay a complaint to his “Comittee wife!!! TERRIBLE to stay HERE.. bought the Unite 3 yrs ago and its been ONgoing..!! What can?? must I DO?? please to STOPP this “Evilss???” I do thank you SO much for “HELPING ME!!” with proper advice of what MY “RIGHTS ARE??” Many thanks (VERY UNhappy and FRUSTRATED lady-neighbor”)

    • Paddocks
      April 4, 2017

      Dear Mrs Schlemmer,

      Thank you for your comment. We are more than happy to help, however we do not give free opinions / advice. Please email us on consulting@paddocks.co.za with regards to your matter, and we can provide you with a no-obligation quote, so that we can assist you.

      Kind regards,
      Paddocks

  2. Roxana Swart
    October 26, 2016

    Good day – with the Amendments to the Act that have just come in does the Prescribed Management Rule 68 (1)(ii) still have standing.I am asking this as I see that the Section 44 of the Sectional Titles Act has been repealed.
    Can we still refuse to allow an owner of a Unit to run a business from the complex if it poses a security risk and interferes with parking etc.

    • Paddocks
      November 1, 2016

      Hi Roxana,

      Thank you for your comment. Please email us on consulting@paddocks.co.za with regards to your matter, and we can provide you with a no-obligation quote, so that we can assist you.

      Kind regards,
      Paddocks

  3. Duane Adams
    September 15, 2016

    Good day,

    Please would you be so kind in advising me on my rights as a flat owner.
    I currently have a business operating next door to me and have forced me to park my vehicle in the street due to the business taking up 3 parking during the day. What can I do to address the matter my email address is adams.duane4u@gmail.com
    Many thanks
    Regards
    Duane Adams

    • Paddocks
      September 15, 2016

      Hi Duane,

      Thank you for your comment. Please email us on consulting@paddocks.co.za with regards to your matter, and we can provide you with a no-obligation quote, so that we can assist you.

      Kind regards,
      Paddocks

  4. Cobus
    August 22, 2014

    Sue, I am no legal or advisory expert and leave my opinion only –
    • It has become a habit in South Africa to legally manipulate Rules and Laws while underestimating the intelligence of others to suit personal wants and requirements
    o Unfortunately, the situation will escalate while opportunities to do so exists within the very law that should protect us
    • While I agree that one should be fair when granting permissions for the many ideas, wants and wishes requested, and at times demanded, a rule, law or directive in that regard should be the guideline; the second element should be investigative objectivity, which can require a fair amount of effort that will be even more strenuous if one has to deal with psychological pressure also
    o The manner in which you were manipulated into granting permission is a perfect example
    • However, members of your body corporate are also to blame because a little research will show that the Cape Town case did not involve visitors compromising parking and security, as one aspect of that case.
    o The reason for the body corporate refusal in that case was purely based on what the Act directed
    o Your situation is much different and has no bearing on the Cape Town scenario used by the consulted legal council
    • Now that you all agreed to this member running a business from home, how will the body corporate or their trustees control the matter with nothing stipulated in terms of
    o Access arrangements
    o Parking arrangements
    o The number of clients on the premises at any given time
    o Operating hours
    o Etc
    • You gave her carte blanche where she will do what suits her best while the body corporate and trustees will have no say, because you agreed that she may do exactly that

    • Sue Sugar
      August 23, 2014

      Thank you for your reply. The Trustees of the complex did insist on conditions before the matter was signed off. The owner of the Beauty Salon has a front entrance to her property adjacent to the road where the complex is situated. Her clients must park outside on the road, and use the complex pedestrian access gate to enter her property. She is only allowed one domestic worker and can have one client at a time. The Trustees also stipulated she must be no signage on the complex wall, or show the address of the complex on any business card she uses.

      The matter started end of 2010 and finished end of 2013. The body corporate were convinced that when we went to arbitration and won with the order being lodged in the court she would stop trading from the complex.

      Her change of lawyer, with change of tactics resulting with all the owners receiving threatening letters, and then being served by the Sheriffs office with a hundred page document showing correspondence between the business owner her lawyer and the individual owners was when things became very nasty.

      The implications of the unknown cost each owner would incur for legal fees, the thought of having to go to the High Court with no guarantee of winning the case and the time it would take to resolve the matter was frightening, and the owners just wanted to get on with life.

      I think that until someone is put in the same position who has the resources,time and energy to let the case come to the High Court, win the case and the business is thrown out of the sectional title property nothing will change.

      Thank you for letting me vent my frustration and good luck to anyone who can take this matter further

      Regards Sue

  5. Sue Sugar
    August 16, 2014

    I live in a 12 unit sectional title complex in Johannesburg. A prospective owner asked permission to run a beauty salon from one bedroom of the unit, the trustees refused. After the unit was sold the owner proceeded to trade she was taken to arbitration and lost but still continued trading. She then changed lawyers and said she was going to take all owners that did not give consent to her trading to the High court.
    Her lawyer wrote to the owners : In the event that you and/or any other owner refuses to grant consent, our client will make an application by 26 July 2013 to the South Gauteng High court, Johannesburg, in which application you and/or such other owner will be cited as a party to your personal capacity, seeking – at least – the following (or similar) relief.

    “A declaration that the refusal to grant consent is unfairly prejudicial, unjust or inequitable to her.
    A declaration that the consent requirement stated in the proviso to section 44(1)(g) of the STA is deemed to have been met; and
    A costs order against any owner, in his or her personal capacity, who opposes the relief sought in the application.
    The reason for seeking a personal costs order is that the application would only cite those owners who have refused to grant consent. Obviously, no costs order will be sought against owners who grant our client the consent which she has requested. The Body Corporate of xxx would not be cited as a respondent as it cannot – as a juristic person – grant consent. The STA only permits owners, acting in their personal capacity, to grant the requisite consent.”

    This threatened action caused much heartache, one unit is owned by the children of the person living there and his children urged there father to sign consent.

    The rest of the owners sought further legal advice. We were told we didn’t have a good chance of winning as a case was heard in Cape Town where a garage of a unit was used to store brooms and cleaning material for the owners business, when this was challenged in court the owner of the business won the court case.

    By then we were all worn down by the nasty atmosphere and just gave in and all grudgingly gave our consent paid our legally bill and never spoke to this owner again.

    If you want to know more I have a file!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Twitter

Address:

+27 (0)21 686 3950
Mon - Fri
8am - 5pm

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 421 other followers

%d bloggers like this: