When it comes to voting time at the AGM of a sectional title scheme, the trustees must be sure that all those who are voting do in fact have the right to vote, says Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company IHFM. This is to avoid situations where decisions are made and resolutions passed but it is found later that many of the people who voted did not do so legally.
The trustees should check the ownership of units and have an updated attendance register from the Deeds Office before each general meeting. The other thing trustees need to establish is how each section is owned and work out the PQ factor for each section before the meeting in order to work out their voting rights.
The types of ownership could be natural persons (if a husband and wife is married in community of property, they each have a 50/50 vote) and may have a joint vote or juristic persons, in which case the person who is present to vote must have sent through signed proxy forms and a resolution from the trust or company stipulating which person is voting on the trust or company’s behalf. This must be done at least 48 hours before the AGM is due to take place, says Bauer.
When the day of the AGM arrives, those who attend must bring their identity documents as this should be checked against the attendance register to be sure that those voting are entitled to vote.
Owners who are nominating proxies must send the signed form with the person holding the proxy and that person must also have his ID with him.
If a husband is attending but his wife does not attend, she must sign a proxy form to state that the husband is voting on her behalf.
PMR 64, which covers who is not allowed to vote, says that those who have not paid their levies up to date can attend the meeting but they will not be able to vote.
To ensure the voting process goes smoothly, each owner should be given a voting card when they arrive, which has their section number on it. These cards should be numbered and recorded on the attendance register so the chairperson knows who is voting and that their votes are legitimate.
If these simple steps are followed then the AGM will be run efficiently and all decisions made there will be legal.
There are still unlimited proxies allowed at AGMs, this ruling has not changed as yet, so it is very important to check that these are valid. In many cases it is a letting agent who represents his/her clients and that agent can end up holding a vast quantity of votes, which can be a problem if he is voting in his own interests, says Bauer.