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Liability and body corporate gym equipment

There are additional risks to consider where a body corporate has its own internal gym equipment, especially weights. What happens if somebody is injured while using the equipment and sues the body corporate? Was the equipment safe? Is the equipment properly maintained and set up?

Property Owners Liability typically protects the body corporate against liability claims being made against it in respect of damage or injury occurring in connection with the buildings or property.

In a recent article published by sectional title specialists Paddocks, Carryn Durham explains the ins and outs of having and/or starting a gym.  This motivated us to put pen to paper about the additional risks associated with such a gym that often gets overlooked by the trustees and insurance advisor.

The Sectional Titles Act refers to common property as “land and parts of the building which do not form part of a section”. Prescribed rules do not speak to liability issues that do not pertain to common property. It can be argued that trustees are only authorised to purchase additional cover pertaining to the buildings (PMR 29.(1)(x)) therefore, a special resolution in terms of prescribed rule 29.(3) is needed to deal with insurance of gym equipment.  Trustees should ensure that this cover is in place, especially since the cost is marginal to transfer this risk properly. This can always be ratified at the next AGM with a special resolution.

Most sectional title policies include Public Liability or Property Owner Liability sections which often refer only to the “buildings”.  Some policy definitions of common property can be even narrower.

Most policies we arrange either include this cover or we arrange to have the policy endorsed or noted that the liability extends to use of the gym equipment. Take care, sometimes even noting the cover means that it is restricted, e.g. the cover may not extend to third parties.

It is important to display ‘Disclaimer Notice Boards’ and rules pertaining to these gym facilities prominently.

You can read Adv. Louis Nel’s opinion piece about gyms and gym equipment here.


Author Mike Addison

Contact Addsure – The Leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – to get fit and proper advice from advisors who understand Sectional Title. Contact us in Johannesburg (011) 704-3858; Durban (031) 459-1795; Cape Town (021) 551-5069