By Prof Graham Paddock
I would like to know if trustees can specify to owners the type of tenant that they are allowed to rent their units to in the HOA? Our concerns are that owners/investors will let their units to students, which may result in the estate turning into a student village. Can the trustees put rules into place in this regard on an AGM or appoint a body to approve tenant applications on behalf of the HOA?
The owners of individual properties in the HOA have all the rights of ownership, including the right to let to anyone they choose, subject only to the provisions of the HOA’s governance documentation. The trustees could not impose such a restriction if it does not already exist. This would have to be done in terms of the existing documents and the restriction would have to be a reasonable restriction of owner’s rights in order to be valid. I suggest that the trustees discuss this issue at the next general meeting and if there does seem to be wide support, they should take specific legal advice as to what can be done.
2. Recount of votes for trustees
At our AGM there was a competitive election for trustees. Our auditor was called to count the votes according to PQ. When the results were announced the chairman at the meeting asked if anyone had any question about the auditor’s conclusions. Since he has been working with our building for years, no one questioned his integrity. The meeting adjourned and one of the old trustees in disbelief asked the auditor to send him the calculations. Once they were received there were major discrepancies. Many valid proxies were not counted and the PQs were also incorrect. We have asked for a recount, but the new managing agent refuses, stating that only if the new trustees (who did not have the majority of votes) allow for a recount, can it be done. This does not seem possible. It would be a simple process to do a recount since all of the information is still available. Do you have any thoughts on this matter, since the building is now so divided on this?
The unhappy ex-trustee should have raised their query at the meeting when the chairperson announced the results of the auditor’s calculation and before the meeting was dissolved.
I suggest that all the owners who are unhappy should take the evidence of the auditor’s mistakes to the persons elected and ask them to arrange for a re-election in which they resign and new trustees are elected. If they refuse, they can only be removed from office by majority vote at a special general meeting.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 7, Issue 6, Page 5
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.