CheatSheet: Trustee Decisions
by Jennifer Paddock
Here is a list of decisions that sectional title trustees can make on their own (please note this is not intended to be an exhaustive list):
- Approving the subdivision or consolidation of one or more sections – section 21 of the Act
- making levied contributions due and payable by owners – section 37(2) of the Act and PMR 31(3)
- filling a vacancy amongst trustees – PMR 8
- appointing an alternate trustee – PMR 9
- giving notice of a meeting of trustees – PMR 15
- appointing or co-opting trustees to make up a quorum when the number of trustees falls below – PMR 16
- election of chairperson – PMR 18
- removal of chairperson – PMR 19
- replacement of chairperson – PMR 20
- choosing a temporary chairperson – PMR 21
- deciding that a trustee is disqualified from voting – PMR 23
- appointing agents – PMR 26
- delegating powers or duties to agents – PMR 26
- revoking delegation to agent – PMR 26
- raising special levies on owners – PMR 31
- setting interest rate on arrear amounts – PMR 31
- authorise managing agent to administer and operate the body corporate’s bank account or deposit money into a trust account – PMR 42
- appointment of managing agent – PMR 46
- revoking managing agent’s appointment – PMR 46
- changing the body corporate’s financial year – PMR 51
- convening a special general meeting – PMR 53
- deciding that short notice of a meeting to consider a special or unanimous resolution is necessary – PMR 54
- initiating or defending an arbitration – PMR 71
- authorising an owner or occupier to keep a pet – PCR 1
- parking a vehicle on the common property – PCR 3
- having a vehicle illegally parked on common property towed away – PCR 3
- approval for marking, painting, damaging or altering the common property – PCR 4
- approving a locking device, safety gate, burglar bars or other safety device; screen or other device to prevent the entry of animals or insects – PCR 4
- authorising the placing of a sign, notice, billboard or advert on the common property or a section which will be visible from outside the section – PCR 6
I hope this is helpful.
If you would like a list of the consensus levels required for body corporate decisions please see my blog post: CheatSheet: Summary of Consent Levels for Body Corporate Decisions.
Do you have other trustee decisions you’d like me to add to the list? If so comment below and give me the decision and reference to the Act or prescribed rules and I’ll include it!
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Do trustees have the authority to decide and/or dictate how an owner of a sectional title unit may renovate their unit internally?
I have been granted permission to do renovations, however the trustees are trying to also dictate to me what type of renovations I may do to the internals of the unit.
The renovations DO NOT involve any structural changes.
The Building Inspector from council has visited the 4 units being renovated (brought to site by one of the trustees), and confirmed in writing that there is NO REQUIREMENT for council approved plans for the work being carried out, as no structural changes are being made.
The objection from the trustees is that I am converting the unit from a 1 bedroom into a 2 bedroom by moving the kitchen into the spacious lounge, and converting the old kitchen room into a 2nd bedroom. The flat is 56m2 in size, and the 2nd bedroom is large enough to accommodate a double or queen bed with side pedestals after the built in cupboards are installed, so not too small.
The AGM for the scheme takes place next week Tuesday, 9th December, and I would like to arm myself with as much information as I can beforehand. I have ordered 2 books from Paddocks Publishing in the interim, the Paddocks Sectional Title Survival Manual and the Paddocks Sectional Title Meetings Handbook, which I am hoping will also assist me field this at the AGM.
Any further guidance you would be in a position to offer me would be greatly appreciated.
The scheme’s Conduct Rules do specify the trustees must authorize structural alterations to the interior of a section, including but not limited to any alterations or repairs to plumbing and the electrical wiring or conduits.
In this respect, we have replaced ALL PLUMBING with new pipes, etc. and upgraded the electrical board to be compliant with current electrical standards. I have been issued both Plumbing & Electrical Compliance certificates for the work done.
Do the trustees have the authority to stop me from doing the conversion? How can I show them from the Act and the Conduct Rules that I have the right to do the conversion?
It would fly in our building, Shanna, you are allowed to do whatever you want inside your unit as described above, up to the median line between your unit and the common property. I can see no real reason why your trustees should object to your plans and whatever you have already done.
Please comment on these statements anyone- Can the trustees decide to hold trustee meetings via SKYPE?
Or as Anne suggested: “You would need an unanimous resolution allowing trustees to hold meetings via Skype, as it would have been an amendment to the Management Rules.”
If Skype is used, a unanimous resolution is needed for:
The dates and times of Skype and other trustees meetings be sent with levy statements. All owners are allowed to attend trustees meetings, whether by Skype or physically.
A detailed agenda by email with motivation of all points would have to be provided by email to ALL owners beforehand,
And the minutes of the trustees meeting should then be sent to trustees by email within a week, corrections asked for and then also be emailed to ALL owners. This should also be decided at SGM.
You should change your rules accordingly.
(all complexes really should change their rules about informing owners about dates of trustee meetings, sending agendas and sending minutes if trustee meetings with levy statements, to ALL owners).
relevant sections of the Act or Management Rules. If unanimous decision by owners were not taken, any decisions taken by the Trustees at a Skype meeting will be invalid?
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An important omission from the list which needs inclusion
Section: 38(1) and 39(1)
TRUSTEES MAJORITY VOTE TO LET COMMON PROPERTY FOR < 10 years.
Howdy! Would youu mind if I shqre your blog with my facebook group?
There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
Please let me know. Thanks
Further to my earlier question, I don’t think I was too clear on what I was asking.
Your article on pre-paid states in one paragraph that a simple majority of owners can instruct the trustees in writing to go ahead with the installation of pre=paid or smart metering.
If this alone is the case, can the trustees in a hypothetical complex with 24 hypothetical owners notify all 24 owners of the proposition to install smart metering and then visit at least thirteen of the hypothetical owners and get thirteen written documents requesting the rescueing of the complex by installing the smart meters without gathering all of the owners together in one place.
The following paragraph of your article makes reference to “fundamental changes to the scheme regarding payment” .
Is this contradicting anything to do with section 33?
Hi Guy. There is a distinction between pre-paid meters and the meters that record consumption of electricity by each section. A majority of owners can make a written request that the trustees install separate meters to record consumption. Technically a general meeting is not necessary. The trustees could take around a document with the request written on it and get signatures of the majority.
Can trustees decide to implement prepaid electricty metering without recourse to a general meeting?
Thank you so much for all the usefull information. I am curious as to the “PMR” and “PCR” abbreviations you use. What do they relate to?
Hi Werner. So glad you are finding the blog useful 🙂 PMR = Prescribed Management Rule, PCR = Prescribed Conduct Rule. These are the prescribed rules set out in Annexures 8 and 9 to the Regulations made under the Sectional Titles Act and apply to all bodies corporate unless amended by the developer or the body corporate.
Off the top of my head:
Decisions around maintenance and repair around common property
Permission iro renting out parts of common property
Permission iro the aesthetics of a scheme eg where an owner improves EUA
Decisions iro determining EUA contribution.
Insurance – decisions with regard which advisor / insurer to appoint / utilize
Insurance – determination of replacement value
Insurance – PMR 29.1(x) – take out additional cover iro the buildings
Improvement to common property (however only if no objection after 30 days after notification to owners).
Probably a lot more!
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