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Communal Property Associations

Communal property is where people live on the same property – e.g. an apartment block – but each have separate ownership of their unit. An association is needed to administer and regulate the communal affairs, such as use of common property and facilities like the lifts, parking and so forth.

A ‘communal property association’ means one registered in terms of the Communal Property Associations Act 1996.1 The Act falls under the authority of the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, but is administered by the Director-General in that department.

  1. It is an offence:
    • to grant to any person rights in respect of the property of a communal property association, or access to such property, if it would be in breach of the constitution of that association;2
    • for a committee member of a communal property association to act in breach of the fiduciary duty he has towards the members of the association;3
    • for anyone to abuse any authority vested in him (by the members of the association) by way of any conduct that prejudices or threatens the benefits or rights of a member;4 or
    • to entice that person to abuse the authority vested in him;5
    • to grant to any person any of the rights of a provisional association if that person is not a member of the provisional association.6
    • If you are subpoenaed to attend an enquiry and fail (without lawful excuse) to appear or to provide the required information or documentation, you commit an offence.7
  1. As amended; the latest amendment was effected by Act 4 of 2011. 

  2. Section 14(1)(a). 

  3. Section 14(1)(b). 

  4. Section 14(1)(c). 

  5. Section 14(1)(d). 

  6. Section 14(1)(e) read with section 5(4)(a). 

  7. Section 11(5).