Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Trustees Meetings – The Law Around Notice and Attendance

trustee meetingsBy Jennifer Paddock

Notice of a trustees meeting must, in principle, be given to all persons entitled to attend that meeting.

The persons entitled to attend a meeting of trustees are:

  • All current trustees, but the prescribed rules specifically provide that it is not necessary to give notice to any trustee who is not in the country;
  • Any alternate trustee who has been appointed for any trustee who is not available for whatever reason;
  • Any person who holds a first bond over a unit and has in writing requested notice of trustee meetings; and
  • All owners.

How can the trustees notify all owners of their meetings without physically sending out notices to every owner each time? 

  • An idea popped up recently at Paddocks – how about adding the details of the next trustees meeting to the bottom of the monthly levy statements? Levy statements are sent out monthly anyway, so why not add it to the emailed PDF or printed statement? Just a thought.

What about the managing agent?

The prescribed rules also require that the trustees give reasonable prior notice of their meetings to the scheme’s managing agent, but go on to provide that the managing agent “may with the consent of the trustees be present”.

This means that the managing agent does have the right to notice of the trustees meeting but does not have a right, by virtue of his or her office, to attend those meetings. The managing agent may be present by virtue of the express or implied consent of the majority of the trustees and if that consent is withdrawn the managing agent is obliged to leave the meeting.

In practice the managing agent often prepares the notices for trustee meetings, so it is only when one or more of the trustees decides to call a trustees meeting themselves that it would be necessary to give the managing agent notice.

Have you had any issues with notice of and attendance at trustees meeting in your scheme or a scheme you manage? Share with us by commenting below!

The above information is an adapted extract from Prof. Paddock’s book “Sectional Title Meetings Handbook“.

 

Image source: http://www.somecards.com

Advertisements

16 comments on “Trustees Meetings – The Law Around Notice and Attendance

  1. Penny
    September 15, 2016

    I as owner of a unit asked to attend trustee meetings & was refused

  2. Helen
    May 8, 2015

    I have a trustees husband who is not an owner the trustees is. he now has power of attorney which has not been presented to myself the chairman. However given directly to the managing agent. Is he as power of attorney entitled to attend meetings?

    • paddocks
      June 8, 2015

      Hi Helen, thanks for your question. We answer one question a day on our Facebook page for free. Please Like our Page on FB and re-post your question on our wall. One of our consultants should answer you within a few days. Thank you!

  3. camelot.windsor
    November 28, 2014

    “doing things in the dark” … in some schemes probably, in my 12-unit scheme, never. It won’t get past my integrity primarily, and secondly I am a resident owner taking good care of my property investment.

  4. edwin levin
    November 28, 2014

    There are times when the Trustees discuss delicate matters financial or personal involving owners and/or tenants which would be unwise and sometimes unlawful to share publicly.
    For this reason I would not favour distributing minutes leaving them open to public scrutiny. However a member of the BC does have the right to information concerning the scheme and its financial wellbeing.
    A Quarterly News letter or regular Memos would serve to inform and educate the BC in matters concerning the Scheme and keep everyone informed and in the loop..

  5. Simon Monckton
    November 27, 2014

    I really cant see that the Trustees can make a rule that an owner can only stay for business that the owner has indicated they want to discuss. That defeats the the intention behind the statement “owners may attend meetings”. In most respects the relationship between owners and Trustees is the same as with shareholders and directors. Both elect the trustees / Directors both are entitled to attend the AGM,both may give direction to the board, however this rule alters that relationship significantly by giving owners the right to attend all or any trustee meetings. To my mind it is specifically designed to prevent trustees from doing things “in the dark”. If the owner/s hear things being discussed that they are in total disagreement with and they can convince sufficient other owners to agree with them a special general meeting can be called to specifically address the issue. Having lived in a complex where the trustees met and ruled supreme I am all in favour of more open and honest behaviour. I agree about disruptive behaviour but I think that is implied in every meeting not just a trustees meeting.
    I like the idea of minutes being sent out with the levies. Currently in the complex I run the trustees seldom meet leaving all the business to the Chairman and myself. Great for decision making but not for harmonious relationships.
    In a different thread here I hear managing agents moaning that they are being blamed for the rise in levies. Encouraging owners to attend meetings or sending out the minutes of meetings where the BC finances are discussed, maintenance programs set out etc should make owners much more aware of where their money goes and the basis for the levies increase being recommended.

  6. Pingback: Trafalgar: Property management, financial services and insurance specialists

  7. Selwyn
    February 27, 2014

    It would appear from the foolowing, a response to my earlier emails to the managing agaents, that the trustees are rewriting the Act to suit themselves. Nowhere in the Act is their a provision for “opinions”?

    As you correctly advised, Management Rule 15(5) as prescribed in terms of annexure 8 of the Sectional Titles Act, No 95 of 1986 states that: “An owner shall be entitled to attend and speak at any meetings of the Trustees, but shall not in his or her capacity as such, be entitled to vote thereat.”

    The Trustees are, however, empowered to regulate proceedings at such meetings as provided for in Management Rule 15(1): “The Trustees may give notice convening meetings, meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn and otherwise regulate their meetings as they think fit”

    In our opinion, owners are always entitled to attend Trustees meetings but we can see no reason why the Trustees cannot regulate attendance by imposing reasonable conditions such as:

    1. The owner shall give notice of his or her intention to attend the meeting and clearly state the topic that he or she wants to address;
    2. The owner shall only be permitted to attend the meeting for the purposes of addressing the matter(s) raised by him or her and shall not per se be entitled to stay for the remainder of the meeting in respect of dealing with other issues;
    3. Disruptive behavior of an owner shall not be tolerated and after receiving at least one warning, such person can be asked to leave the meeting.

  8. Edwin
    February 14, 2014

    If you can get support of 25% of Owners, call an SGM and instruct the Trustees to comply with the Act……….but be ready for Trustee resignations as I have experienced when Trustees were challenged from the floor at an AGM.

  9. ferdi
    February 13, 2014

    I have been told that it is not standard for body corporate members to attend. I refered them to the management rule but still no luck. they dont even tell us when we having ameeting

  10. Selwyn
    February 12, 2014

    The trustees of my Body Corporate have flatly refused and, in writing, to permit me to attend their meetings. “The Trustees advise that their job is challenging and difficult enough without the involvement of individuals/body corporate members at each and every Trustees meeting”. I invite your comments.

    • paddocks
      February 12, 2014

      Hi Selwyn, you can direct the trustees to prescribed management rule 15(5) which states that an owner is entitled to attend and speak at any meeting of the trustees but is not entitled to vote. Perhaps send them a copy of this blog post as well. Good luck.

  11. kukri1946
    January 18, 2014

    All very well in theory but i disagree and so does Prof. van der Merwe.
    Trustees meetings are normally held in a trustee’s lounge which sometimes has limited seating, especially in small 48 sq mts townhouses.
    So living in a complex with 40 units the immediate problem arising there isn’t enough room for everyone to get into the home never mind be seated so the meeting is cancelled.
    Also Trustees sometime do not want Joe Soap in their home, for various reasons, it is their home and they have the right to refuse entry, so what happens then?

    Owners applying to be invited can be accomodated, the venue can be changed or a hall hired – so i believe owners wishing to attend trustees’ meeting must apply in writing and must inform the trustees what they wish to discuss so that this can be placed on the agenda, it also give them and the MA time to investigate the problem so that it can be answered at the meeting.

    Butch.

  12. Butch Kukri
    January 18, 2014

    HI
    This is all very well in theory but i must disagree and Prof. van der Merwe does too. Trustees meetings are normally held in an owner’s lounge where there is seating for about 8 people (less in small 48 sq mt town houses) so a complex of say 40 units that invite all owners to the meeting have an immediate problem of no space for everyone so the meeting cant be held anyway.
    The there are cases where the trustee who is hosting the meeting will not allow Joe Soap into her unit UNDER NO CONDITIONS, it is her unit and she can decide who she wants in her home!
    Should an owner apply to come to the next meeting (or a few owners) that is fine then the trustees have advanced warning and they can have the meeting at another Trustee’s unit or hire a hall. But allowing owners to be able to pitch up with warning is just not on.

  13. Anne
    January 13, 2014

    We place of copy of the latest minutes of our trustees’ meetings on our lounge table, for all to read. The date of the next meeting is given at the foot of the last page.

    • paddocks
      January 13, 2014

      That’s a great idea Anne. The only thing is that you wouldn’t be notifying investor owners that way, but being a retirement complex I would presume most owners are occupiers as well…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Twitter

Address:

+27 (0)21 686 3950
Mon - Fri
8am - 5pm

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 421 other followers

%d bloggers like this: