A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog
Trustees in sectional title schemes have many powers and duties as set out in the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, 8 of 2011 (“the STSM Act”). These powers come with a high level of responsibility. It is therefore necessary that the trustees obtain a certain level of education and training.
In particular sections 3, 4 and 5 of the STSM Act prescribe the functions, powers and additional powers of the body corporate that are to be performed by the trustees.
Some of the functions of the trustees include:
Some of the powers of the trustees include:
Section 8 of the STSM Act sets out the fiduciary responsibilities of the trustees. In addition to this, regulation 14 of the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act, 9 of 2011 (“the CSOS Act”) places further responsibilities on scheme executives. It specifically requires that a trustee must:
This Regulation also clearly states that these obligations are in addition to and do not derogate from the fiduciary obligations of the trustee in terms of the common law or any applicable statute.
From the above discussion, it is clear that holding office as a trustee involves hard work, dealing with varied and strong personalities including apathetic and ignorant owners, and complicated physical, financial and legal issues. However, trustees do have a certain degree of control in the administration of the scheme; can contribute constructively to the scheme and the value of the property and can ultimately play a vital role in the success of the scheme.
Ideally, trustees should be properly elected, experienced and qualified in all matters relating to sectional titles. Trustees, as their name implies, are in a position of trust and must manage the scheme for the benefit and in the interest of all the owners.
Trustees need to know and understand the sectional title legislation and follow the applicable rules in such a way so as to organise the sectional title scheme in the owners’ best interests.
It is for these reasons that bodies corporate should include as a line item in each budget a certain amount of money for the education and training of their trustees. This will ensure that trustees can have access to the knowledge and information required to properly execute their tasks as the elected executives of the scheme.
Paddocks offers various courses that could be useful to trustees. For a list of all our courses please visit www.paddocks.co.za.
Image source: unsplash.com
Regarding “Letting a portion of the common property to any owner or occupier by means of a short term lease.” I have a concern that this may be misleading, as it appears not to be within the Trustees’ powers, unless approved by a special resolution of the body corporate (STSM Act Section 4(h)).
We have new trustees every year, we ask them to educate themselves as to budget for them to go on courses every year would almost double our levy.