So how does the voting process work when electing Trustees?
Category Sectional-title Advice
Attendance at the schemes Annual General Meeting is crucial in order for the meeting to proceed and for decisions taken at the meeting to be binding.
The Annual General Meeting is not only a legal requirement but a platform to make owners aware of important operational and management matters including:
- the report of the Trustees detailing any work that was completed during the financial year;
- the financial status of the scheme as at financial year-end;
- determination of any levy increases for the ensuing financial year;
- determination of insurance cover and replacement values in respect of the buildings;
- appointment of an Auditor; and
- the election of Trustees who will represent the owners and their duties and powers specified.
All the owners in a scheme collectively form a Body Corporate and it is their responsibility to select a group of owners who will manage the scheme. This select group of owners are known as Trustees and are chosen at the Annual General Meeting.
The Trustees play a vital role in the management of the scheme and are elected representatives of the owners in a sectional-title scheme who are entrusted to manage the scheme in good faith and with the members' best interest in mind. The duties they perform are required by law, and as such, legally binding. The Body Corporate can appoint a number of people (whether or not they own sections) to oversee the day-to-day management of the sectional title scheme.
Before voting can take place at any Annual General Meeting a quorum must be present. A quorum is a percentage of owners present in person or represented by proxy based on the number of sectional title units and their respective participation quotas.
The participation quota ("PQ") is the floor size of any specific section in relation to the combined floor sizes of all the sections. The participation quota is used to determine, the value of the vote of an owner of a section (in the case where the vote is reckoned by value).
To be entitled to vote you would need to be the owner of a section in the scheme (or that person's legal proxy - a legal representative who has been nominated in the prescribed manner). Members may be represented by proxy at these meetings, provided that the person acting as proxy does not do so for more than two members.
Certain decisions like the election of Trustees only require an ordinary resolution/majority vote. A majority vote is normally taken on a one-section one-vote basis and decided by a show of hands.
An owner is not entitled to vote on ordinary resolutions if that owner has refused to pay any amount due to the Body Corporate and a judgment order has been granted by either a court or adjudicator.
Nominations for Trustees must be received 48 hours prior to the meeting and signed by the person so nominated. If the nominations received equal the numbers of Trustees determined then the persons nominated will simply fill the positions.
Prescribed Management Rule 5 requires that the majority of the Trustees appointed are owners or spouses of owners. Therefore if the number of non-owners outweighs the number of owners or spouses of owners then the non-owner candidate with the lowest number or least value of votes must be eliminated and this process must be repeated until the correct number of Trustees is achieved with the majority being owners or their spouses.
Once the Trustees are elected, they will hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.
When nominating and voting for a Trustee, it is important to choose an individual who you trust will act in good faith, with integrity, and in the best interest of members and not in their own personal interests.
Having your say and voting for the person you feel is best suited is a big responsibility. So use it wisely and make it count as this year's Annual General Meeting.
For the best advice on running your meeting or scheme contact De Lucia Group. Michael De Lucia - 082 493 1089
Author: De Lucia Group