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!
Validity of WhatsApp trustee decisions – i.e. Resolutions without meetings
A body corporate has just set up a WhatsApp group and have sent the managing agent an instruction by email (with a copy of the WhatsApp thread) to pay an invoice in accordance with the approval of the trustees in the thread. The WhatsApp thread contains phone numbers and not names etc…
They believe that this is a round robin approval of the trustees, now in writing as the thread has been printed. We do not want to, and in fact cannot read all the correspondence relating to each and every instruction we get.
Your view please:
– Is this a valid instruction to pay?
– The invoice is referred to in the instruction and the thread, but not signed.
I suggest you tell the trustees to look carefully at Prescribed Management Rule 14(4). This describes how trustees can take resolutions without actually having to meet, but it is not “anything goes”. And it does not sound as if the procedure they followed complied with the requirements in this provision.
I agree that you cannot /should not take responsibility to read a part or all of an online discussion and try to figure out whether or not they have complied with the requirements for a valid resolution.
Here are the basics:
Someone, a trustee or the managing agent, must send a message to all the trustees. The message must set out the text of a proposed resolution and invite a positive response before a specified date. If the majority of the trustees agree to that particular text, without changes, and send a signed response confirming that agreement, the resolution is taken.
This could be a service you offer to client schemes, where you are the initiator and recipient of the trustee responses, so that you can see, for example, that they are signed.
If the trustees want to handle the admin of this process themselves, I suggest you change your management contract to confirm that you can rely on the chairperson or other trustees’ advice that the resolution has been properly taken in writing, otherwise you could be at risk.
Only some sections have solar panels: How can we make sure only they pay?
If only certain units in a fairly new complex have solar panels and their 10 year maintenance plan makes provision for the maintenance and repair of the solar panels can the maintenance reserve for that section of the 10 year maintenance plan be adjusted to be only for the owners with the solar panels.
The normal rules will apply to who has to pay for what maintenance. The body corporate must maintain all the common property, and I assume these panels are common property.
I suggest you consider getting the scheme to make a rule that makes the solar panels subject to exclusive use rights in favour of the sections they serve. This will have the effect that the owners must re-imburse the body corporate for its costs in maintaining and replacing these panels. Once this rule is in place, the reserve fund budget can show anticipated income from these owners to offset the body corporate’s costs.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 14, Issue 04.
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.