Common area security

Our complex is at the end of a cul de sac and our entrance is not walled or gated.  Our unit was broken into during broad daylight in March and we have had a few subsequent minor incidents, like cars in the driveway being broken into or tires being stolen off cars. This morning however, one of the residents was hijacked while taking his car out of garage at 5:00 am and the hijackers made off with his vehicle, which is only 2 months old. I’ve approached the trustees about the blatant security issue, and apparently, I’m not the first to do so. I have been informed by the trustees that the driveway serves two separate complexes and because not all the members of either of the complexes utilize the driveway/road, that it is not possible for the body corporate to erect the security structure, as raising levies to pay for a structure that would only benefit a percentage of the residents is not fair, which I agree with, but something needs to get done to close our complex from the road. What can be done in this situation?

Our Answer

The body corporate is responsible for the common property. If that property falls on the erf that your complex is on, then the trustees are responsible to attend to it. The same argument is that if someone is parking on the outside, why would they then need to contribute to the gate that secures most of the complex. Sectional title is designed for shared costs and if the owners feel that security is important, then the body corporate should look at ways to make it more secure. The challenge of having the driveway on the road creates other challenges, as the municipality will dictate how far the wall/palisade needs to be away from the road.  Therefore, in most cases there is not enough space to put up a gate. I would suggest that the owner requests that it be put on the agenda for the AGM and it is discussed with all the owners.