Advice and Opinion

Chairperson's Role In A Body Corporate Important

In many sectional title schemes at the annual general meeting when it comes to time to elect and vote in the next chairperson, they could find themselves short of a candidate because no one wants to step forward to take on the position, says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager for Propell.

At each AGM the body corporate must elect trustees for the following year and at their first meeting after the AGM, the newly elected trustees will elect and vote in a chairperson from the group of trustees. The chairperson will hold office until the end of the next AGM.

The problem here is that it is often seen as a complicated high-powered, high workload job, and one that is done for no remuneration whatsoever, she said.

“The reward, however, comes in the form of steady or increased property values when the body corporate is correctly managed and run. His or her role is quite straightforward, but the position does need to be filled by someone with commitment to working for their sectional title scheme.”

While the chairperson does not have any more power than the other trustees in the scheme and he cannot make decisions pertaining to the scheme’s management on his own, he does have the deciding vote when it comes to deadlocks at trustee meetings. His casting vote, however, cannot be used if there are only two trustees present at the meeting, said Hanekom.

The chairperson’s main role is to conduct and chair all body corporate meetings where he will:

– Open the meeting formally, accepting the previous minutes;

– Confirm if there is a quorum or not;

– Go through the agenda and discuss any points for or against decisions being made;

– If there is any voting necessary the chairperson will take the written ballots, check the result and declare the outcome;

– Ensure that limit on expenses is not exceeded in any way.

If for any reason the chairperson is found to be unfit for the job or steps down, a new chairperson can be voted in during the course of the year, and the new chairperson will hold that position for the remainder of the year. The replacement of a chairperson need not be complicated, as all it takes is the trustees to vote in another candidate, she said.

As, too, can there be a temporary chairperson if the chairperson is away or cannot attend a meeting for some reason, said Hanekom, and he or she has the same voting rights as the normal chairperson for that meeting.

“Being a chairperson isn’t a complicated or very difficult job to do, but still an important position that must be filled, so we encourage owners in sectional title schemes not to shy away from getting involved. It is important for owners to take an interest in what needs to be done in their scheme and to help protect the value of their assets,” said Hanekom.

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