By the Paddocks Club team
Below are examples of two questions on the Paddocks Club discussion forum, to show you what is available to our Community members!
What can the developer do if an owner refuses to allow a change of section use?
The developers want to change section 10 into a apartment it has been standing empty and had to get a 100% vote.
There was just one owner that did not give her vote and has no valid reason as she is not even close to the apartment. The developer then met with her on the 13 December and she demanded R400000 for her vote. Is this allowed and is this not a breach?
She has also listed her property on the market so not sure what she is trying to achieve by not agreeing. She is keeping up all the plans and can one not over rule this decision.
I presume that the developer needs owner consent because the section in question is designated on the sectional plan for a different use to the one the developer wants to put it to.
If this is correct, the STSM Act makes specific provision for this situation. Look at section 13(1)(g) and (2). In plain language, these provide:
(g) when a section or exclusive use area’s purpose is shown on a sectional plan, not use or allow it to be used for any other purpose, except with the written consent of all other owners.
(2) If the consent to an alternate use is refused, an owner who considers this unfair may apply to the CSOS for relief.
So you should tell the developer to make application to the CSOS, who can grant the consent that the owner refuses to give.
Can trustees increase the levies by more than 10% per annum?
Very recently the trustees of our complex decided that in order to prevent the members hearing what was to be discussed at the trustee meeting they decided to change the set time of the meeting from 10 am to 8 am at short to hold their meeting without informing the members. This was a tactical ploy and caused great friction as some members had received a personal message to attend the trustee meetings which have always been scheduled for 10am. It appears that the change of meeting and time was discussed between the trustees the previous evening and non of the members were notified of the change nor were the selected invited members informed either.
The trustees conducted their meeting at 8 am and then pretended that they they were holding the trustee meeting at 10 am with the members present. Besides holding a meeting that the members were kept in the dark about, the trustees then started to introduce rules at the 10 am meeting as to which of the attending people would be allowed to listen to the so called trustee meeting. The trustees ruled at the meeting that where previously non homeowners who were attending the meeting with a proxy could attend trustee meetings, they would now required a power of attorney from the home owner before they would be allowed to attend.
There were other people in attendance at the meeting at the invitation of the trustees who also do not own property and did not hold a proxy or power of attorney, these people were not asked to leave and remained in attendance.
The members feel that certain trustees are responsible for selective discrimination against some members and people who are acting on behalf of the property owners from whom they rent. Please advise if the trustees have a right to bring in these type of rules and tactics against the members?
The principle is simple. Owners (but not their proxies) are entitled to get notice of and to attend trustee meetings, to observe the proceedings and, under the control of the chairperson, to give input.
They cannot introduce new subjects or behave so as to disrupt the trustees in their debate and decision-making process, but they be there and participate as described – unless the trustees are taking decisions about alleged breaches of the rules or they take a decision that the presence of non-trustees would be detrimental to the body corporate or compromise other people’s interests.
If you think the trustees are behaving badly and want to do something about it you could stand for office as a trustee or support the election of other people who you know share your views.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 14, Issue 01.
Graham Paddock and Ané de Klerk are available to answer questions on the Paddocks Club discussion forum for Community members. Get all your questions answered by joining Paddocks Club.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.