By Prof Graham Paddock
Voting by spouses married in and out of community of property
Couple A are married in community of property (COP) and are therefore registered as joint owners of the property.
Question: If only 1 of the owners who is married COP attends the AGM does that 1 owner carry a full vote or is it necessary that both owners who effectively own half the property each, attend the meeting in order that they jointly be able to exercise a full vote? Or would a proxy by the absent spouse be necessary?
Couple B are married by ante-nuptial contract (ANC) without accrual. The property is registered in the deeds office as being 100% owned by the husband in the marriage.
Question 1: If the wife attends the AGM on her own but has not received her husband’s proxy, may she vote at the AGM? Or does she require a signed proxy by her husband?
Question 2: Would the situation be any different if they were married by ANC with accrual? I ticked the ladybird to see what happened and nothing happened.
A1. Scenario 1:
Please read STSM 10.16.11 titled “Voting at general meetings” (which analyses Management Rules 60 to 67) for the full story on voting.
But to address your specific issue here is an extract:
If two or more people are entitled to exercise one vote jointly, such as co-owners of a unit, all of them are entitled to attend and speak at general meetings but only one person, jointly appointed by them as their proxy, can exercise their vote. Their proxy need not be one of them.42 Any one of them may demand a poll.43
42. PMR 66(1)
43. PMR 66(2)
The wife has no standing on her own i.e. no any right to attend, speak or vote at the AGM unless she has her husband’s proxy. Best to tell her that in advance so she can make the necessary arrangements.
No, the issue of accrual does not change the situation.
Liability for medical expenses arising from injury on common property
Who is liable for these costs?
The BC, as it occurred on CP?
The security company?
The security guard in his personal capacity?
The tenant in the wheel chair?
The one person who could not be liable in the circumstances you describe is the person in the wheelchair, because he or she did not do anything to injure the other occupant of the lift. The fact that something was being done for him or her by the security guard and/or that he or she asked the security guard to help does not make him or her liable.
The other person who is unlikely to be liable is the security guard himself. He would only be personally liable if it could be proved that the injury was no accident but the result of a deliberate act by that guard and that he intended to cause harm, and there is no indication in your posting that this is the case.
The only way the body corporate could be held liable is if the injured person could prove that the body corporate was in some way responsible for the security guard’s actions, for example if the trustees had asked him to help this particular person or to render this type of help to persons generally. But again, this does not appear from your posting to be the case.
It appears that the security guard was on the property in the course and scope of his employment, and this means that the security company could potentially be liable. While he was not guarding or doing anything else he was specifically trained and employed to do, this accident might still result in the security company being liable if it could be shown that the guard was not acting outside the scope of his employment.
I have given you the principles that apply in these circumstances, but it is not possible to say that the security company or the body corporate is definitely liable – their individual and perhaps joint liability is something that would only become clear in a court action. Since the security guard is very unlikely to have the money necessary to pay any claim, one expects that a lawyer acting for the injured person may, after investigating the claim thoroughly and if the available evidence supports it, bring a claim for recovery of medical expenses against both the security company and the body corporate, on the basis that one or the other is going to be liable or perhaps both.
One expects that the security company would have public liability cover, but not all do. I do not think that the compulsory injury cover for owners and trustees required under PMR 29(2)(a)(i) would be applicable, because the injury in this case did not occur “in connection with the common property”, but it is still worthwhile having a close look at the wording of the body corporate’s insurance policies to see if this type of injury occurring on the common property is covered.
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