We are often presented with the following question:
Can a residential garage in a sectional title scheme be used for storage?
To answer the question, we take guidance form management rule 30 (a-f) as well as the policies which provide guidance regarding disclosure of material nature of risk and any changes thereto.
Owners in a residential scheme commonly store anything from furniture, sports, camping and maintenance equipment to domestic use tools in their garage. This is not a concern as it’s acceptable practice notwithstanding the fact that the primary use of a garage is to store a motor vehicle. A domestic use garage should not be used for business operations or storage of excessive stock items that pose increased risk of fire, explosion or health risks.
The following items should not be stored or held in a residential use garage:
- Flammable materials, e.g. gas, paints, thinners, turpentine, petrol*.
- Fireworks, ammunition, explosives.
- Business stock which could give rise to a fire, e.g. batteries, chemicals.
- Poisons, narcotics or other dangerous materials.
- Live pets e.g. caged bird, reptiles, rodents, etc.
- Items which pose a nuisance such as noise or odour.
- Loose food items (unsealed) that may attract vermin or insects.
- Perishable items that could cause unpleasant odours.
- Rotting or large amounts of cardboard or paper.
*A domestic property should not have more than a few litres of paint or other flammable liquids stored for an extended period of time. Any items being stored must be strictly for private use and not commercial use (for retail or deriving an income). Any stored paints should be kept sealed on shelves, as tins on floors tend to rust more easily.
Notifying the insurer
It is vital to notify and disclose any material change or increased risk exposure to the insurer. This allows the insurer the opportunity to either accept the risk or apply a higher premium rate, and/or place restrictive terms and conditions where appropriate. It is highly unlikely that trustees will give permission for any high risk commercial enterprise to operate from a garage as this would be against residential scheme rules.
Author: Brian Addison
Contact Addsure – The Leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – for fit and proper advice from advisors who understand sectional title. Contact us in Johannesburg on (011) 704-3858; in Durban on (031) 459-1795 and in Cape Town on (021) 551-5069