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Leasing your Unit

What the Landlord/Owner needs to know1

People tend to buy units in a Sectional Title complex because it provides an attractive investment opportunity. They either live in their purchased units or they rent it out. Unfortunately some tenants do not take pride in the units they rent and therefore they tend to have no problem breaking the Conduct Rules of the complex as well as misuse their leased unit. Ultimately there is no legal relationship between the tenant and the body corpoarte. Refer Model Management Rule 69 of the Act headed "Binding Nature":

"The provisions of these rules and of the conduct rules, and the duties of the owner in relation to the use and occupation of sections and common property shall be binding on the owner of any section and any lessee or other occupant of any section, and it shall be the duty of the owner to ensure compliance with the rules by his lessee or occupant, including employees, guests and any member of his family, his lessee or his occupant."

So, the bottom line is that the buck stops with the owner! For example, if you are an owner and your inebriated visitor accidentally drives into a garage door, YOU will be directly liable to the body corporate for the reasonable costs of repairing that garage door. You may then have legal recourse against your visitor, but the body corporate will claim directly from YOU, and not your visitor.

What this means is that if YOUR tenant breaks the rules of the complex, and the body corporate decides to take action, the action taken will be taken against YOU the OWNER.

We strongly advise ALL owners who rent out their units, to ensure that there is a copy of the Conduct Rules attached to the lease as an addendum and the lease to include a clause stipulating that the tenant is bound by the rules of the complex. This simplifies matters if a landlord needs to take action against the tenant for breaching the contract. Please ensure that YOUR letting agent complies with this.

1. "Demistifying Sectional Title" by Marina Constas and Karen Bleijs (2nd Edition)

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