Security issues on exclusive area boundary walls

An owner whose exclusive use garden courtyard area is enclosed by the complex boundary wall insists that the body corporate secure the boundary wall by installing Palisade fencing etc to address the security concerns they have as their unit is positioned at the front of the complex facing the roadside. The body corporate refuses to comply claiming it is an exclusive use area of which only that owner benefits from and should accordingly pay for his own security needs. This security threat they have identified is not a security threat to the rest of the scheme. Please advise on the legal position on this matter in terms of the sectional title act. Also, who is responsible for these walls and is the body corporate obliged to secure this area. Does the rule of the mediun point of the wall apply in this scenario in terms of establishing responsibility of maintaining or carrying out improvements to this wall?

Our Answer

The Sectional Title Act will state that the owner is responsible to maintain their exclusive use area. You can discuss this with a few attorneys and their opinions will differ. The boundary wall will be for the body corporate to attend to. If the body corporate does not feel the need to secure the boundary wall even more and they can justify it, then they can have that opinion. If the rest of the boundary does not have anything else on it, then it is a fair argument. If the owner of that specific section is adamant that he wants security, they can come to a compromise. What has happened in our body corporate is that the owner wanted to secure his wall, the body corporate stated that he can do so at his cost, but he will need to provide drawings of what it will look like. The body corporate then put certain conditions on this addition and it then becomes the owner’s responsibility to maintain moving forward. The owner purchased the unit without it on so there is always an argument that he can’t now come change the system. Legally speaking the wall is part of common property and the median line does not apply. I personally would say that if it does not cost too much, that the body corporate attends to it.