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!
Snoring: Breach of conduct rules?
We have a tenant who resides in a sectional title complex. The managing agents have had complaints from his neighbour that he is snoring loudly and this disturbs them.
We have received a letter saying he is in breach of the rules and if this is not resolved the Trustees will have to take action. We have spoken with the tenant, who is very embarrassed and has now moved his bed into the centre of his bedroom away from the adjoining wall to his neighbour.
We have received another letter from the managing agent saying he is still disturbing them and action must be taken.
What can be done about this?
We have been advised by our Attorney this snoring would constitute reasonable interference and as a result the body corporate cannot fine him or take any action against the Landlord/tenant. Please advise?
Sleeping is a normal residential activity. Snoring is a relatively normal sleep noise. Although it might be annoying, the noise of a person snoring is unlikely to qualify as a nuisance. Accordingly, it is unlikely to be a breach of an owner’s obligations under the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act.
Putting the bed in the middle of the bedroom is sensible. Are there other things the tenant could do, e.g. hanging a heavy curtain on the wall that separates the flat from the disturbed neighbour or putting a bookshelf and books on that wall?
If the managing agent or the body corporate contact you again, I suggest that disclose the things your tenant has done or considered doing to reduce the noise, and also ask for details that indicate whether this is an actual nuisance, e.g.:
- evidence of the volume of noise, measured from outside the section or within the neighbouring section, and
- details of when and for how long the snoring has taken place.
Can a trustee be paid as the supervisor?
I have recently taken on a scheme where an owner was employed as the supervisor a few years ago and remunerated accordingly. The owner was then also elected as a trustee at an annual general meeting a year later.
I have advised the trustees inclusive of this owner that a special resolution would be need be passed if the owner remained on as trustee (as he is been remunerated) – am I correct in making this statement?
The trustees and this owner are arguing the fact that this owner was initially remunerated as a supervisor and not a trustee.
Is their argument valid or not?, or do we still need to get a special resolution passed?
Yes, their argument may well be valid.
PMR 8(2) provides:
(2) 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.
So it is only for “trustee services” that a trustee cannot be rewarded without the authority of a special resolution. The argument would be that supervisor services do not fall into this category.
A few peripheral issues arise:
- the paid trustee must not play any part in decisions that impact on his employment;
- his contract must be in writing and properly signed; and
- the costs of his employment must be included in the admin fund budget.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 14, Issue 06.
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.