A reader wants to know what can be done about the conduct of two trustees in a sectional title scheme embroiled in a personal conflict that is negatively impacting on its administration.
She says one of the trustees has instituted legal steps against the other for defamation of character and that this legal action has caused the meetings of the trustees to take on a very unpleasant tone.
The normal debates among the trustees have now almost become a forum for the two trustees to continue their dispute, with disparaging remarks and statements being taken as personal affronts to be used in the litigation between them.
See the reader’s question here.
From this one can understand how the meetings have become extremely disruptive.
This has evidently resulted in the point and intention of the meetings being lost, clouded by the dispute between the affected trustees.
It is perhaps timeous to consider the duties of the trustees in relation to the body corporate, where they are expected to act honestly and in good faith, avoiding material conflict and not breaching any statutory duties.
Notwithstanding the sectional title-specific legislation applicable to the duties of the trustees, the regulations to the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act outline their responsibilities.
They must exercise an active and independent opinion with respect to all matters to be decided by the trustees.
Furthermore, they must have due diligence in relation to any business of the scheme or any committee to which they are appointed.
It could possibly be argued that the conduct of the two trustees is severely hampering administration of the scheme. The meetings are seemingly being used for fuelling the fire, so to speak.
The reader could consider the removal of the trustees through a general meeting.
Alternatively, the scheme could consider approaching the ombud for relief as the actions of the trustees may be considered a breach of the regulations.
One of the sub-sections provides that any person may make an application if they are affected materially by a dispute.
It adds that the party making application should set out the relief they desire and the grounds upon which such relief are sought.
However, a simple removal of the two trustees at a general meeting may prove to be a quicker and simpler approach under the circumstances.
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