Does a building manager have the right to enter and inspect a privately owned apartment in a sectional title scheme without consent from the owners, especially if the owners are living there at the moment?
In terms of section 44(1)(a) of the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 (the Act) an owner in a sectional title scheme must permit any person authorized in writing by the body corporate, at all reasonable hours to enter his/her section or exclusive use area for the purposes of inspecting it and maintaining, repairing or renewing pipes, wires, cables and ducts existing in the section and capable of being used in connection with the enjoyment of any other section or common property, or for the purposes of ensuring that the provisions of the Act and the rules are being observed.
The owner is, however, entitled to reasonable notice of the inspection except in the case of an emergency in which case no notice is required.
So if the building manager has been authorized in writing to inspect an apartment then he is entitled to do so at all reasonable hours for the reasons set out above. But the owner of the apartment is entitled to reasonable notice of the inspection except in the case of an emergency.