The chairperson of a sectional title scheme has sold his unit and a reader who lives in the complex wants to know about legislation governing this scenario.
He is concerned that the chairperson will not have sufficient interest in the complex to carry out his duties properly.
See the reader’s question here.
The trustee was apparently elected as chairperson six months prior to the sale and transfer of his unit, which the reader confirms has been finalised.
He says the trustee now lives outside of the complex and adds that he has no interest whatsoever in it.
The reader asks if it is acceptable for a person who is no longer an owner in the scheme to continue to act as a trustee, let alone chairperson, while the remaining trustees are all owners.
A chairperson is elected by majority vote of the appointed trustees at the annual general meeting of the scheme.
The office of chairperson is held until the next annual general meeting.
The chairperson is generally required to preside over the meetings of the trustees and general meetings.
He also has to ensure that such meetings are held in a proper and lawful manner, as outlined in the prescribed management rules.
Among his duties, the chairperson is obliged to maintain order, act in a manner that is fair and impartial, make decisions on points of procedure and settle disputes.
There is no bar to an external person, for example a non-owner, being a chairperson at a general meeting.
A person acting as a chairperson who is not an owner would not be entitled to vote at the meeting unless, for example, he was appointed as a proxy for an owner who is not present at the meeting.
In the event of there being a real or perceived necessity to remove the chairperson from office, the trustees may do so by way of a general meeting.
It should be noted that the removal of the chairperson from that office does not automatically cause his removal as a trustee.
The removal of the person concerned as trustee would take place by way of an ordinary resolution at a general meeting called in the standard manner.
The removal of the person as both chairperson and trustee could, accordingly, take place in a single general meeting.
The fact that a person who is not an owner in a sectional title scheme is not prevented from holding office as a trustee.
It may so happen that it is desirable and useful for persons outside of the scheme to be appointed as trustees to ensure the proper administration and management of the scheme concerned.
While there may be a perception that a non-owner has no interest in the proper administration of a scheme, the objectivity of such a person may, in fact, prove to be a positive influence on the administration.
That person may be in a position to make decisions on a basis that is completely independent and without bias due to him not owning a unit in the scheme.
If the person concerned performed his duties as both chairperson and trustee in a satisfactory manner for the first six months of his tenure it may be prudent to permit him to continue his role.
This would ensure the continuity of the administration of the scheme, particularly in the event of there being no suitable replacement.
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