Sectional Title versus Freehold Ownership – Understanding your rights and responsibilities –
includes information on common property, participation quotas, exclusive use areas, body
Sectional Title is described as ownership of units or sections within a complex or development.
This refers to the purchase of the section or sections and owns an undivided share of the common
property. Some of the examples of the sectional title include detached house, flats, townhouse, or
apartment. When one purchases a sectional title property they purchase exclusive ownership of
the unit section, thereby becoming a joint owner of the common area.
Concerning the common area, a corporation is formed where the owners of the sectional unit will
be given a share. The owners who are now shareholders in the company then elect trustees who
are mandated to run the affairs of the corporation on day-to-day. The management/ body
corporate is tasked with collecting levies, paying any insurance scheme, setting up meetings, and
ensuring that the provisions under the sectional property are complied with.
The body corporate obtained revisionary interest if the sectional property is developed on leased
land. This means that once the lease comes to an end, it is upon the management corporation to
file for renewal of the lease. The renewal of the lease is done on the primary title, once done the
sectional property owners will automatically have their sectional titles renewed.
Owners of sectional units are issued with sectional titles in which they are given the title of
ownership of their unit. The title enables the sectional owner to do anything that is permitted
within the law with the sectional title. The owner can use the title to obtain a loan or can use the
title to sell the unit.
The participation of a sectional owner in the decision-making process in the corporation
management is equivalent to the shares that they have in the corporation. This means that if a
sectional owner has two properties in the area, it means that they will have shares equivalent to
two units. Therefore, he/she will have a great role in the management and operation of the
Responsibilities of a Sectional Owner
1. paying all levies agreed upon by the corporate or any levies that may be agreed in the future;
2. Signing any agreement that may be provided by the Corporation with regards to the
management of common areas; and
3. Ensuring that they have the sectional title granting them exclusive ownership of the sectional
4. Maintaining and proper management of the common areas.
Rights of Sectional Property Owner
1. to be provided with full information on any levy that should be paid;
2. to be provided with any agreement that relates to the management of the common property;
3. to be constantly updated by the trustees on any decision made by the trustees on their behalf.
This can be described as a title which transfers full ownership rights to a property, the interest in
land which is transferred include any chattel or fixtures on the land. An example of properties
under freehold, they include cluster houses, free-standing house, residential property. Under
freehold, the owner under freehold owns the entire land and he/she does not share ownership of
the common area.
Benefits of freehold ownership
Independence- those that have freehold title have the freedom to do what they want with their
property; this is because they are not answerable to anyone like those under sectional property
are answerable to the management corporation. There are no rules set under freehold as the
owner is answerable to himself, unlike the sectional property where the owner of a sectional unit
is answerable to the body corporate formed to manage the property.
Change or improve on the property, those that have freehold title can redesign or improve on
their property. This however is not the case for those that own sectional property. This is
because, under sectional property, owners who want to renovate or improve their property need
to obtain permission from the management corporation.
In summary, the two forms of ownership are distinct from each other. In their distinction, each
party has its rights and responsibilities whereas they also have their benefits. It is however
important for a party to get professional advice before deciding on the type of property that they
wish to own. This is because the process of acquisition of the two properties is very distinct.