Sectional title corner – Our caretaker is getting ‘rewards’ from service providers
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
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.
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Who is Karien Coetzee?
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.