Written for Property Poser

Yet another disgruntled sectional title unit owner has contacted the Property Poser experts about the mismanagement of his complex.

He is of the opinion that the trustees are guilty of gross mismanagement and would like to take steps to remedy the situation.

While a managing agent has been appointed, the reader is not at all pleased with his performance. The complex appears to be in a fair state of disrepair, with painting and repairs to the paving required.

The reader has done some research and has a good idea of what needs to happen in order to remedy the situation but he feels that a few practical aspects are hampering him.

He would like to call a special general meeting but the managing agent will not provide the e-mail addresses of the other unit owners or those of the trustees.

Usually, the trustees – as the persons responsible for the management of the complex – call special general meetings, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town.

“The trustees are also obliged to hold such a meeting on written request from the unit owners holding at least a 25 per cent stake in the complex.”

Van der Merwe says the meeting must then be held within 14 days of the request, failing which, those unit owners who submitted the request may proceed to hold the meeting.

“A further method would be for our reader to submit a written and motivated request for a special general meeting, which should be signed by owners comprising at least the same 25 per cent threshold.”

The reader does not mention what steps he has taken to call a special general meeting, aside from requesting the e-mail addresses of the people involved in the complex, says Van der Merwe.

“Generally, the chosen domicilium addresses of those people should be used to give notice, which may include an e-mail address.”

Van der Merwe says the domicilium address is usually the registered address of the section, which is registered in the name of its owner.

“This may have been altered but it is quite possible that the minimum threshold required to call a special general meeting could be garnered in this way.”

Grant Hill of Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys in Somerset West says the reader should also perhaps inspect the management rules of the complex concerned.

“A rule may have been inserted permitting the serving of notices by placing them in the post boxes of the various units of the scheme.”

If the reader has access to the registered information of the various sections, for example by way of a deeds search or the like, he could determine the recorded addresses of the section owners, says Hill.

“A further consideration for our reader is that, under the management rules, trustees are obliged to hold certain information relating to the complex and the owners thereof, including their addresses, for a certain period.”

Hill says the reader, as an owner in the complex, could make application under rule 35(2) of the Sectional Titles Act for access to such records and the trustee concerned must make such information available.

“Although there seems to be a deliberate attempt to frustrate the owners in the complex, the reader could try to use some of the options we’ve considered in calling a special general meeting.”

He could possibly take the matter further to consider the removal and replacement of the trustees and/or the managing agent, says Hill.

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Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
082 575 7991
041 368 4992

On behalf of:

Rawson Properties Helderberg & Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys