The rules you need to know about installing a generator in your complex or estate in South Africa

With the problems of load shedding increasing the difficulty for many to work from home, many department owners are considering the option of a generator to keep things through load shedding. But can you just install a generator in your unit, or do you need permission to do so?

“Every owner of a unit in a section title scheme becomes a member of the body at the time they become the owner of a section title unit, as well as of an undivided share in the common property,” says law firm Wright Rose Innes.

“In this community, the body remains the owner of the common property and the interest of the members of the community should be considered if you do anything in the arrangement.”

To administer a section title scheme, the community must have rules in place to regulate the action of owners, tenants and visitors in the scheme, and it is the body’s duty to ensure compliance with any common property and management law. to maintain. and conduct rules of the scheme, it said.

“The rules of conduct of a regulation may stipulate that (with exceptions) the person (s) occupying a unit shall not store flammable material in a section or on the common property or perform any other dangerous act in its unit or on the common property that may adversely affect the insurance of the scheme. “

The Sectional Title Regulation Act also states that an owner may not cause inconvenience to another resident in the scheme.

“So, considering the noise that a generator can make, as well as the fact that they use petrol / diesel and generate harmful fumes, the use of a generator should be considered carefully. Depending on the layout of a scheme, the trustees will look closely. whether they can individual owners install their own generator or rather install one or more larger generators for the whole scheme. ”


Should the trustees decide to install each individual’s own generator, then the regulation must adopt clear rules that e.g.

  • The type of generator that will be allowed;
  • The location of the generator;
  • Who will be responsible for the maintenance of the generator as well as the storage of fuel of the generator;
  • Whether the cost of purchase and installation will be for the account of the individual owner.

In the event that the mayors decide to install a central generator for the entire scheme, it is considered an improvement of the common property and it must be considered whether the improvement is interpreted as a ‘not reasonably necessary (luxury) improvement. ‘or’ a reasonably necessary (non-luxury) ‘improvement, the company said.

The importance of the distinction lies in the type of resolution required by the body to continue with the improvement.

If an “unreasonably necessary” improvement then a unanimous resolution is required, while a “reasonably necessary” improvement only requires a special resolution of the body. With the current impact of load shedding affecting everyone, there is a strong argument to be made that such a central improvement would be a “reasonably necessary” improvement, it said.

“Where a central generator is considered, the cost of installing the generator is at the expense of the body. The trustees will also have to consider the costs involved in the installation, the maintenance of the generator. , the purchase of the fuel and the sound it creates, before considering the mood of the organ.

An alternative approach to a central generator may also be to consider the installation of a generator as falling within the powers conferred on the body in terms of the Sectional Title Regulations Act.

“The law also provides that the body has the power to purchase movable property for the use of the owners. The maintenance of the generator would then fall under the power of the corporation to keep in proper and serviceable repair and the plant, machinery, establishments and facilities well maintained which are used in relation to the common property and units.

“What should make it clear, however, is that installing a generator, whether as an individual or for the complex, is not just a ‘go-ahead-and-do-it’ decision and the necessary permits and decisions must be obtained. “Nothing should stop a regulation from considering more sustainable alternatives such as solar panels.”

To read: Electricity cuts in South Africa could rise 10 times as soon as 2026: report

The rules you need to know about installing a generator in your complex or estate in South Africa

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