Having worked closely with countless trustees over the past 4 years, I can confidently say that most of them have one thing in common – a frustration with the thankless position they find themselves in. If you have ever served on a body corporate’s board of trustees you will know that the job comes with certain, shall we say “undesirable” tasks, including attending after-hours trustees meetings, taking late-night phone calls regarding out of order lifts or broken gates, trying to stay on top of a constant influx of scheme-related email correspondence and, most importantly, attempting to safely navigate through all the hoops that legislation has trustees jumping through… all of which often seem to go unnoticed and unappreciated by fellow members of the body corporate. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that Paddocks has recently been inundated with queries regarding trustee remuneration. Let’s take a closer look at the idea and the legalities around it.

Who can be trustees?

As a point of departure, it is important to be mindful of the fact that a board of trustees can consist of both members and non-members of the body corporate. Prescribed Management Rule (“PMR”) 6(1), contained in Annexure 1 of the Regulations to the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act (“STSMA”), stipulates that “a trustee need not be a member”, while PMR 7(1) states that “a member may nominate any person for the office of trustee”. The only persons who may not be elected as trustees are non-members who are also “the managing agent or an employee of the managing agent or the body corporate”.

Is it legal to pay trustees for their services?

In terms of PMR 8(2), trustees who are members of the body corporate can be remunerated if the remuneration is authorised by a special resolution of owners.

Where should the body corporate get the money to pay these trustees?

Practically, there are 2 ways of recovering the cost of trustee remuneration from members. The first is to incorporate the cost into the body corporate’s administrative budget and therefore include it in the monthly contributions levied to owners; however such budget can only be considered and approved at the body corporate’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”). This method can therefore not be utilised throughout the remainder of the body corporate’s financial year.

The second possibility is for the trustees to raise a special contribution in terms of section 3(3) of the STSMA and PMR 21(3)(a) for this expense, which is necessary but was not budgeted for in the estimated expenditure approved at the last AGM. As the trustees’ power to raise special contributions is limited to such contributions required to cover necessary and unbudgeted expenses, it is of the utmost importance that a special resolution first be properly passed by the members before the trustees implement the special contributions. Without such duly passed special resolution, the expense cannot reasonably be regarded as “necessary”.

What about trustees who are not members of the body corporate?

It is important to note that this second option above is not available to the body corporate if they wish to remunerate trustees who are not members of the body corporate. According to PMR 8(3) these trustees may only be remunerated if the cost of such remuneration is included in the body corporate’s administrative budget, duly approved by an ordinary resolution of members at the AGM. Therefore, no special contributions may be raised to pay non-owner trustees for their services.

While the notion of volunteer trustees who selflessly offer up their free time for the greater good of the body corporate is a noble one, I fear that this breed of trustee is a dying one. With trustees’ duties and responsibilities being plenty and those willing to take on the task few, body corporates may wish to consider the possibility of paying their trustees a minimal amount for their services in order to prevent having to pay an executive managing agent a substantially greater amount for performing the same duties and taking on the responsibilities that owners would happily have taken on at a fraction of the cost.

Should you have any questions with regards to trustee remuneration or require assistance with the drafting of the special resolution authorising such remuneration, contact me, Ané de Klerk, via email at consulting@paddocks.co.za or telephonically on 021 686 3950, for a no-obligation quote.


Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 13, Issue 7.

Specialist Community Scheme Attorney (BA (Law) LLB), Ané de Klerk, combines her work experience as a Portfolio Manager with knowledge of conveyancing and community scheme law.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Back to Paddocks Press – July 2018 Edition.


  • Hi Ané. Thank you for the insightful article, it is a question that has crossed my mind often. How would the situation differ for the trustees of a HOA? I would assume that, due to the lack of management regulations, the rules would defer to the HOA constitution? And in most constitutions that I have seen there is a requirement that trustees be members of the scheme and that trustees are not paid a salary (other than being repaid reasonable expenses). Would this then require changing of the constitution to bring it into effect? Thanks

    • Paddocks
      06/08/2018 08:53

      Hi Paul,

      That is absolutely correct.

      Kind regards,

  • Hi
    I have a different edge on this matter – PMR 8(2) in full reads – Unless so determined by special resolution trustees who are members are not entitled to any reward. whether monetary or otherwise, for their services as such.
    Key words here are “for their services as such” – this to me means that Trustees may not be rewarded for doing the business of being a Trustee.
    However, is say a Trustee owns a Garden Service he may contract with the BC his services to the Trustees. He may not be at the meeting where the trustees make the decision or when his company is up for discussion.
    So Trustees may be remunerated for services but not for the duties of being a Trustee.

    Taking another Rule into consideration to back up the above – PMR 14(3)(a) & (b) – which reads :
    A trustee is disqualified from voting in respect of –
    a) Any proposed or current contract or dispute with the body corporate to which the trustee is a party and
    b) Any other matter in which the trustee has any direct or indirect personal interest.

    I rest my case – Trustees may be paid a salary for eg. being the Caretaker, being the Handyman, etc. etc. But NOT for doing the duties that a Trustee would be responsible for.

  • I’m one of those strange people who did not expect any monetary reward for my 10 years of service, as trustee, and , for two of those years chairman. Our 119 section scheme is owner-managed, and I did the administrative work. I enjoyed the challenges (otherwise known as problems), and the interactions with the other trustees, and with the residents. I only resigned in my late 70’s, in order to spend my last few years pursuing my own interests.

  • If a trustee who happens to be a unit owner of a scheme but is not a resident at the scheme premises needs to attend a trustees meeting at the scheme location with other trustees who are resident, can the non-resident trustee be paid for their travel costs?

    • Paddocks
      05/10/2018 10:38

      Hi Peet,

      Thank you for your comment. We would love to help, however we do not give free advice. Here’s how we can help:

      – We offer a 1-week Free Basics of Sectional Title short course.
      – We offer consulting via telephone for R490 for 10 minutes. Please call us on 021 686 3950.
      – We have Paddocks Club, an exclusive online club, to help you get answers to your questions about community schemes.

      Kind regards,

  • Goo Day
    My questions is, can a non mener trustee also be a service provider to the BC?
    Can an elected tenant trustee also be the garden service of thecomplex?

  • Julie Radue
    09/02/2021 15:08

    Hi, I am part of our complex body corporate and we have discussed I take over the gardening service. Will this be allowed, I will run it as an outside business. We are worried there are rules against this!?

    • Paddocks
      10/02/2021 08:27

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your comment. Our legal team can assist you with this query. Please send all the relevant details to consulting@paddocks.co.za and the team will revert with a no-obligation quote within 1 business day.

      Kind regards