By Prof Graham Paddock
Shareblock company representative / proxies for body corporate meetings
Question: I think I am right, but would like your opinion please.
When a general meeting of the sectional title scheme is held and there are sections still in the name of the shareblock company, do they have to give proxy to the shareholders with usage rights to a specific section? That is the way it would normally work if a company is the registered owner of a section. The directors should pass a resolution and appoint a proxy.
Member comment: If I may just take the question one step further before the Prof steps in. Is SBC only entitled to issue one proxy irrespective of the number of sections still in the SBC, as it is the single owner with a number of shareholders? If this is so, I would assume this where a vote by poll would be requested if the vote goes against it by a show of hands.
Answer: Being an artificial personality, the share block company (like any other) cannot represent itself. So it must always, in accordance with its MOI and normally by way of a resolution of directors or members, appoint a person to represent it at BC meetings. This person is a duly authorised representative of the company. It is not – strictly speaking – exactly the same as a proxy, but for the purpose of this discussion, there is no particular virtue to the distinction.
So yes, the SB company has to appoint a representative to exercise the SB company’s rights in the context of body corporate meetings.
If any member owns more than one unit, it would be possible for that person to appoint a separate proxy in respect of each unit. And where a SBC still owns a number of units in a scheme that is in the course of a conversion from SB to ST, the shareholders may want to appoint its members who hold occupational rights to the various units as its proxies to allow them the freedom to vote any way they wanted in the BC meeting context. Then each of them would independently exercise the voting rights that attach to “their” unit.
Who must pay – garage and lobby doors clash?
Question: We have a situation in one of our blocks where the lift lobby pedestrian door, which is outward opening could when open clash with an adjoining garage door when that door is opened. It has been like this for a long time but now the owner of the garage door wants to automate his door and hence we are now concerned that there is a good chance that the two doors may clash or bump into each other and there will be damage. The practical solution is to change the lobby door to be inward opening and hence avoid any clash – the question now is who should be responsible for the cost of altering the lobby door – the owner, who now wants to automate his garage door, or the body corporate? Other garage doors in the block have been automated so there is no objection to the owner doing this – but is it then his responsibility to pay for the lobby door adjustment or should the body corporate be responsible to ensure that the common property doors do not clash?
Answer: On the basis of your posting, my view is that the problem lies with the lobby door. The garage door functions in the same manner as all others, so that while the way it opens is part of the issue, this is not the root cause of the problem.
My view is that the reversal of the swing of the lobby door is, in these circumstances, the repair of a design fault in the common property lobby door. As such, it is the responsibility of the body corporate to commission and pay for the work.
Thanks Graham – that seems fair.
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