Who must clean windows?

In a sectional title complex or block of flats, is the body corporate responsible for cleaning the outside windows?

At the moment the situation with regard to window panes is not clear, but there is an amendment to the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (the Act) in the pipeline.

This will provide that the boundaries of sections go through the middle of window frames and it will then be clear that the exterior portion of windows is always common property.

The body corporate is responsible to repair and maintain the common property, including common property windows. However, common property maintenance would not normally be considered to include the cleaning of all exterior window panes, even once it becomes clear that these are all common property.

In a high-rise building where occupants cannot easily clean their own windows, the rules of the scheme may oblige the body corporate to employ window-cleaners.

In schemes where occupiers can readily access the exterior of their windows, they will not normally be entitled to insist that the body corporate clean the outside of the window panes.

As the situation is currently not clear from the provisions of the Act, it is suggested that this issue be dealt with in a scheme’s rules so that all owners in the scheme are aware of what the position is for their scheme.

Article by: Jennifer Paddock - www.iafrica.com