The art of managing mixed-use Sectional Title schemes

A pre-requisite of managing a mixed-use Sectional Title scheme is possessing some excellent juggling skills!

Central living is becoming am increasingly desirable way of living. Reducing travelling times and the convenience factor of living, working and playing in a small radius is progressively more alluring. This in turn, creates a growing demand for property developers to provide modern living spaces that tick all the boxes.

Mixed-use developments are not a new megatrend – in fact, it’s been around for many generations going as far back as the Romans who used to manufacture, sell and live in the same building. It was only during the Industrial Revolution when devolution started taking place due to the manufacturing industry being a toxic and dirty environment to live in. In our most recent history, our cities used to be places where everyone lived, worked and socialised until cities became unaffordable to live in. Say hello to the commute from the suburbs! In Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, the dilapidation of the cities caused decentralisation movements with people moving their homes, offices and entertainment out to the suburbs. This gave birth to places like Sandton, Century City and Tygervalley.

Fast forward to today, we are going full circle towards nuclear lives. And with the increase in mixed-use schemes, comes the challenge of managing them. How do people, who are used to living in big homes now have to deal with issues such as noise, smells and loss of privacy and learn to cohabitate with commercial and retail components? First rule of law is that you need patience and compromise in bucket loads. If you suffer from noise intolerance, then living in a mixed-use development is not for you!

When managing a mixed-use scheme, it all starts with ensuring that the Body Corporate rules cater for the efficient management of the scheme.


The structure needs to be one where the Body Corporate assigns all its rights to a Property Owners’ association. The next important step is that a well thought through constitution is drawn up to adequately account for the allocation of expenses to the correct component within the scheme. However, it remains a Body Corporate and the Sectional Title Act and Sectional Title Schemes Management Act remain applicable.

In addition, the correct set-up of the budget is crucial as it must ensure the correct split of costs – each component within the scheme must pay for their share of the common property as well as cover the cost of their own expenses.

On the people side, the ongoing day-to-day management remains a challenge to ensure that all occupants live in harmony.

For any advice on setting up your next Sectional Title mixed-use development, preparing budgets and the management thereof, do not hesitate to contact us!

Get in touch with us on or 021 550 7000.

Written by Leigh Metcalf, Director.


This article is copyright of RPA Property Administrators.