Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Maintenance and Repair of Windows and Doors in Exterior Section Walls: Getting Down to Detail

By Graham Paddock

Section 5(5) of the Sectional Titles Act provides:

“any window, door or other structure which divides a section from another section or from common property, shall be considered to form part of such floor wall or ceiling” 

The effect of this provision is to extend the “median line boundary principle” beyond the actual floor, wall or ceiling to include doors and windows that are set into them. This wording was included in the provision by way of a 2010 amendment that I drafted and that was intended to address difficulties and disputes that regularly arose between body corporates and owners in regard to the calculation and sharing of maintenance costs for these items.


The amendment made sense in principle, but difficulties are still regularly encountered when the door or window frames and the moving parts they surround require maintenance, repair and replacement. The window or door panes, the rubber seals and the handles are often not located in the centre of the installation, where it would be clear that they are a joint responsibility. 

In my view, one should accept that windows and doors are complex mechanisms that have to operate as a whole and that their parts are seldom symmetrically located in the whole mechanism. 

The effect of the provision quoted above is, in my opinion, that the costs of maintaining all parts of the door or window, addressing the wear and tear that arises from normal use of that item should be an expense shared between the owner and the body corporate equally, even when the particular sub-component that needs maintenance, repair or replacement is not located in the very centre of the window or door.

4 comments on “Maintenance and Repair of Windows and Doors in Exterior Section Walls: Getting Down to Detail

  1. Vivienne McCance-Price
    July 28, 2021

    So basically if I have to replace my front door then the Body Corporate is responsible in having to pay for half the cost of the replacement. Is that correct?

    Does this also apply to ceilings? I am on the top floor just under the roof. Who would be responsible for replacing the ceiling should it need to be replaced? Does the Body Corporate have to share the cost or pay the full cost?

    I’d love to know the answer to these two questions please. As I’m sure others would too.

    • Paddocks
      September 29, 2021

      Hi Vivienne, thank you for your comment. This would be a matter that our legal team would need to assist with, please email consulting@paddocks.co.za with the details of the above, and the team will provide a quote for their assistance with your query.

  2. Gary Cosh
    July 28, 2021

    If there is an external door or window which opens onto an exclusive use balcony with plastered brick wall and wooden balustrade who would be responsible for the maintenance of the door and wall and balustrade?

    • Paddocks
      September 29, 2021

      Hi Gary, thank you for your comment. This would be a matter that our legal team would need to assist with, please email consulting@paddocks.co.za with the details of the above, and the team will provide a quote for their assistance with your query.

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2021 by in Uncategorized.

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