Can I Grow at a Townhouse or a Flat?

By |Published On: December 2nd, 2020|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

Recently someone wrote to us and said their body corporate originally said that the gardens at their complex are “common property” and that they are not allowed to plant or remove any plants without permission. They then stated that numerous people have planted and removed plants and they would like proof of where everyone has asked permission to do this. They also referred them back to the Code of Conduct where the only place they talk about the garden of each unit, is under the “Exclusive Use Areas”. A specialist sectional title attorney then told them that a space is considered ‘private’ if it is registered as an exclusive-use area on a title deed. 

Craig Harvey from our legal team had the following to say: This is the same conclusion I came to in a matter with similar facts. The managing agent, however, disagreed with this assessment. The problem we have at the moment is that this question has yet to be tested in court. Until that time or until the matter is resolved by the legislature, it is open to various interpretations. I cannot see how an “exclusive use area” cannot be considered a “private space”. Only the relevant owner or tenant can use the area so how can it not be considered private? 

Listen to Craig on the following sound clip.

According to the privacy judgment of 2018, you can grow and use as much Cannabis as you want in a private space as long as it does not harm others.

If you grow in a rented space, you need to be extra vigilant and be very aware of imposing smells and too many visible plants. There is no law against visibility or quantity of plants, but you do not want to invite trouble with your ladies. You have to keep them private just like you would your sex toys . You need to check the lease agreement / paperwork to make sure your private garden is not classified as mutual space – this is in fact possible, but it has to be documented clearly, not just assumed by word of mouth. Also it has to clearly state in the lease that you cannot grow Cannabis or any plants for that matter, and even then you could contest that. 

Craig then also advised: Anyone who is growing cannabis in a sectional title unit will have to be particularly careful. Not because it is illegal, but because the neighbouring owners may not agree with the situation. They, and the body corporate, can then cause problems for the grower. Be discreet as possible is the key. You may be able to win a lengthy court battle with the complex, but you may have lost your plants and soured the relationships with your neighbours and body corporate. Even though it is legal for an adult to grow cannabis for personal use does not mean that is socially accepted by all. When living in close quarters to others, like in a sectional title unit, it is advisable to be discreet as possible and be considerate to the neighbours concerns. Until such time as the legal situation is set out more clearly, it is best to err on the side of caution. 

We’d like to thank Craig Harvey for helping all the many people referred by us and also for giving us this sound advice.

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About the Author: Charl Henning

I've been working with Fields of Green For All and Join The Queue Dagga Arrest helpline since 2014, assisting with general admin and arrests/ court paperwork.

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5 Comments

  1. Carol Zungu December 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for opening my eyes about this. Iwould like start a business in this. Where do Isell my cannabis? Can you help please?

  2. Herbal Leaf January 4, 2021 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I just planted my first seed
    i live in a block of flats and will keep the plant on the balcony
    in a way that no one can see it

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