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Sectional title corner – Our caretaker is getting ‘rewards’ from service providers

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Q

Can the trustees change the electricity service provider without consulting owners? Has the managing agent got a responsibility to advise the trustees that owners need to be informed?

Our managing agent simply dropped the new contract under our door without consulting owners or informing them of the trustees’ impending decision and allowing us the opportunity to know the reason for the change and also allowing our objections.

Our complex is in Pretoria East and the caretaker is also in charge of 10 other complexes and seems to have a hand in the pie with service providers through association with his business and so do some of the trustees. What is the way forward here please? – Jeremy

A

Dear Jeremy, the trustees have to stay within the budget of the complex and there is no requirement for them to consult owners when they change a service provider. But, that being said, you have to look at Section 8 of the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act regarding the fiduciary position of the trustees. I am assuming that the caretaker is also a trustee, as only the trustees can appoint service providers.

The act states that any trustee should not receive any personal economic benefit, direct or indirect, from the body corporate or from any other person. And if they do they must get written approval from all members if they want to continue to be a trustee and receive this benefit. Such a trustee is also not allowed to partake in the decision making of appointing such a contract.


Got a burning question? Email david@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist you.


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Who is Karien Coetzee?

Karien Coetzee, national property management consultant at Trafalgar.

Karien Coetzee, national property management consultant at Trafalgar.

Karien Coetzee is the national property management consultant at property management company, Trafalgar. She holds qualifications in sectional title schemes management and homeowners association management.

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david.steynberg@gmail.com

David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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