What are EUAs?
The term “Exclusive Use Area” refers to a piece of the common land in a sectional title scheme that is set aside for the exclusive use of one of the owners in the scheme. Put simply, these are areas within an estate complex, or a block of flats intended to be used by the owner of a specific apartment/house. (i.e., if you own apartment 13, then only you may for example use parking bay no. P13) Examples of things which may be included under the exclusive use right include patios, parking lots, courtyards, gardens etc.
However, being granted an EUA only gives you the right to use the designated area and the responsibility to maintain that space; it does not make you the property owner of that area. Furthermore, EUA’s are granted for a specific reason – that is, you are only permitted to use the EUA granted to you for the purpose it is intended for and no other.
Different types of EUAs
There are two types of exclusive use areas: The first is Real Right EUA’s and the second is Personal Right EUA’s. If an EUA is registered as a real right, it has been delineated on the sectional plan, and the holder possesses a title deed reflecting ownership that has been recorded at the deed’s office. Then, this EUA may be sold or ceded to anybody else together with the Unit.
If an EUA is registered as a personal right, it has been granted to the unit and not the unit owner by the developer or body corporate; this means that the EUA cannot be sold or transferred when the unit is sold. It is important to also be aware that a personal right will not appear on the deed’s office records.
Obligation regarding EUAs
According to the Sectionals Title Act, the user of the exclusive use right is responsible for paying all costs related to these areas, including maintenance and repairs.
If the body corporate believes that a user is not upholding their obligations, the body corporate may make a written request to the user to do so. Alternatively, the body corporate may enter an exclusive use area to clean it and reclaim the costs from the offending user.
Understanding the type of EUA is crucial because it can avoid any unwarranted surprises and allows you to use and enjoy your area without infringing on other people’s rights, or others infringing on yours.
It is advisable that the users of EUA’s review sectional title plans or management rules to better assist them in identifying all EUAs in the sectional title they stay at, and to determine which users have personal rights and who are entitled to real rights.
The information above merely serves as a very brief overview of a very broad subject of law. If you have any questions, we advise you to contact a lawyer who has the necessary expertise in sectional title law.