Use of common property prohibited throughout lockdown
Clarification on the limitations when living in a sectional title development
Sectional title developments often seem like a suburb within a suburb. Each ‘complex’ often has its own culture with mini-communities forming a tighter bond than with those outside of the electric fencing, booms and guardhouses.
Many can be forgiven for thinking the liberty to walk freely within their familiar confines would be absolute, but sadly this is not the case. During a lockdown, nothing is normal. Typical rights are limited, Residents must be confined to their exclusive-use areas. The lockdown means not leaving your house unless it is to get food, medical supplies or access essential services.
There are the inherent risks in allowing use of ‘common property’ to consider. Although the common property of a scheme is not a public space under the definition of the law, it promotes social engagement between human beings. Use of the facilities could defeat the isolation objectives set by government during the lockdown period. If they allow it to be used by children riding bikes, playing in the roads, congregating in park areas and using other common property facilities, they must consider the liability they may face as a consequence thereof.
The onus really is on the bodies corporate to enforce the rules. Community space is closed. No crowds are allowed and people must respect the need to maintain social distancing.
Police moved to clarify whether owners or tenants living in residential or security estates were exempt.
National police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said there had been several enquiries about residents being able to walk or jog within their complexes.
“The regulations also apply to people living within estates/complexes meaning no walking, jogging or walking of pets within closed estates/complexes is allowed,” read a statement from Naidoo.
“All estate/complex managers must assist by ensuring that these regulations are enforced with immediate effect.
“The fundamental purpose of lockdown is to drastically reduce the movement of people in order to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Your assistance in this regard will be highly appreciated. Be safe.”
Author: Brenda Munro
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