Can trustees raise a special levy?
The answer is yes. Prescribed Management Rule 31(4B) deals with this as such:
“The trustees may from time to time, when necessary, make special levies upon the owners or call upon them to make special contributions in respect of all such expenses as are mentioned in rule 31(1) above (which are not included in any estimates made in terms of rule 31(2) above), and such levies and contributions may be made payable in one sum or by such instalments and at such time or times as the trustees shall think fit.”
Having said that the Trustees should be wary of raising special levies for items already included in the approved budget for the year, as mentioned in PMR 31 (4B), and or for proposed luxurious improvements as this requires a unanimous resolution of the members.
How many meetings should trustees hold per annum?
There is no prescribed answer to this as the Act states that the trustees shall meet as they deem fit. Some Management rules have been amended though to determine minimum number of meetings, but this is rare.
Generally, trustees meet once a quarter and such meetings should be concurrent with the financial year of the scheme, however trustees can opt to meet as often or as infrequently as they wish, depending on the demands of the scheme.
Can a person hold more than one proxy?
There is ongoing confusion about this and this confusion is caused by the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act, which I refer to earlier, which is not yet in force.
Currently a person may hold as many proxies as he or she has been given.
However, once the above Act comes into force the number of proxies held by any one person will be limited to 2.
Can one vote if in arrears with levies or in breach of the conduct rules?
The answer is no, except in the case where a special or unanimous resolution is required. The breach should also have been communicated to the owner, in writing, and the owner must be in persistent breach thereof.
Having said that, the bondholder of the unit in question, if in attendance, may vote on behalf of the owner as a proxy even if in arrears and or breach.
What is the quorum requirement for an ordinary general meeting?
In a Home Owners Association the quorum is determined by the Constitution. In Sectional Title, however, it is determined as follows:
the number of owners holding at least 50 per cent of the votes, present in person or by proxy or by representative recognised by law and entitled to vote, in schemes where there are ten units or less;
the number of owners holding at least 35 per cent of the votes, present in person or by proxy or by representative recognised by law and entitled to vote in the case of schemes with less than 50 but more than 10 units; and
the number of owners holding at least 20 per cent of the votes present in person or by proxy or by representative recognised by law and entitled to vote, in the case of schemes with 50 or more units.
It is important to note that that a general meeting called for the passing of a unanimous resolution requires 80% of the members, in value and number, to be present.
Will our existing Management and Conduct Rules fall away when the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act is operational?
No, they will continue in force until such time as the prescribed rules are replaced by the Minister, which the new Act entitles him to do.