Advice to sectional title owners - get onto your body corporate committee to protect your assets

If you own an apartment or townhouse in a sectional title property, make absolutely sure that your body corporate is competent and, if possible, get onto the committee yourself.

This hard-hitting advice was put out this week by Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

"You have to protect your assets and this is the one way it can be done," said Steward. "We have recently come across yet another case where a well-designed, well built block of flats in a prime southern suburbs position has lost value because of inadequate maintenance - and the reason for that is that almost none of the well heeled investors or owner-occupiers were prepared to serve on the body corporate committee."

It is, said Steward, absolutely essential to repaint, waterproof, replaster and carry out the necessary maintenance regularly with out any gap in the programme.

"The reason is obvious: not only will the property begin to look shoddy (and attract shoddy tenants), it will also be far more expensive to repair if you let it go downhill. Members will have to ask for a special levy which some may not be able to pay and may have to employ expensive specialist subcontractors. Maintain and upgrade the property regularly and you will upgrade your investment."

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