The basics of starting a sectional title development

“I’ve inherited a piece of property that a few people have told me is ideal for a small sectional title development. I know it will be costly and take time, but was wondering if you could briefly explain to me what will need to happen for me to make this a reality?”

To turn your dream into a reality, a number of role players will need to be involved in the sectional title development process.

At the start you will have to contact a land surveyor and town planner to help you with the initial due diligence on the property to assess whether a sectional title development would be allowed and feasible, including investigating whether the land is zoned for sectional development and the relevant Spatial Planning and Land Use Management requirements prescribed by your local Municipality in terms of the SPLUMA Act. Thereafter they would need to assist you to prepare the necessary applications to your local Municipality, who will need to consider and approve your application for your sectional title scheme and ultimately provide you with a consent letter.

Your land surveyor will also need to prepare the sectional plans for your proposed sectional title scheme which will need to be submitted for approval to the Surveyor General. Once the approved sectional title plans are received from the Surveyor General your next step will be to consult with a property attorney at a law firm to assist with the registration in the Deeds Office of your sectional title scheme and plans. 

Your property attorney will apply to the Registrar of Deeds for the opening of the sectional title register and the registration of the sectional title plan. The attorney cannot transfer any units in the sectional title scheme before the sectional title register is opened, even if prospective buyers have already bought their units directly from the building plans.

The attorney will further assist you with preparing a schedule of conditions and obtaining the relevant financial institution’s consent if there is an existing mortgage bond over the property. 

In parallel you may also need to engage one or more estate agents that can start marketing your sectional title development and seek potential buyers for you.

If you are serious about considering a sectional title development, it may be prudent, before you start any processes or incur costs, to have a discussion with your property attorney. They can assist you with the process and also help identify the appropriate persons you would need to engage as set out above, and so help you make your dream development a reality.

June 14, 2021
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