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Owners’ responsibility to take care of common property

Community scheme owners can easily turn a blind eye to maintenance and safety responsibilities inside the borders of the property. All insurance policies contain conditional clauses that make this the responsibility of the insured client, in the case of a community scheme being ‘the collective of owners’.

Regular inspections are needed

Owners – particularly elected trustees – should inspect the property regularly for issues like uneven paving, unsafe walkways, invasive plants and trees, increased fire hazard risks, leaking pipes (water waste or exposure to health risk), etc.

Common area roadways should be properly maintained and any hazards should be clearly marked with illumination paint or cautionary signage, for example speed bumps, pedestrian crossings, low wall garden features in parking areas, play areas, etc.

Common causes for concern

Lighting in walkways – particularly basement parking and stairwells – should be checked regularly and kept in working order. Poor or non-existing lighting is very often the cause or a contributory factor to trip and fall incidents.

Swimming pool areas are a common cause for concern. It is extremely important that self-locking or latching spring mechanisms to pool area gates are functional at all times. Moreover, the areas that surrounds the pool should be kept safe and clear of any items that may cause harm, for example, live electricity cables.

When building contractors are working on site, there will naturally be an increased level of danger due to the presence of delivery trucks, machinery, excavations, scaffolding or overhead works – to name a few. Trustees need to ensure that Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) regulations are complied with.

We encourage our clients to be vigilant and to actively protect themselves against losses or events that could easily be avoided.


Author: Brian Addison

Addsure are the leaders in sectional title insurance. 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.