Sectional title corner – What does the chairman actually do?
We have a small complex consisting of six units: Five of the units are owner-occupied with one having a tenant in occupation.
Each owner is a trustee, and I for my sins have for a number of years organised all that is necessary for the management of the complex with the assistance of a firm of accountants, which controls our bank account, pays our accounts and organises, in discussion with the trustees, the budget. My question is this: Because I do all the donkey work and I am referred to as chairman, do I have more of a legal responsibility than the other trustees. – Ken
Hi Ken, the only thing a chairperson of the trustees has that the other trustees don’t have is a casting vote when there is a deadlock at a trustee meeting.
The act does, however, give a list of duties for the chairperson at a general meeting in Prescribed Management Rule 18:
18(3) A chairperson must—
(a) maintain order, regulate the orderly expression of views and guide the members and other participants through the business of the meeting in accordance with the common law of meetings;
(b) ensure that all motions and amendments proposed are within the scope of the notice and powers of the meeting;
(c) ensure that the scheme’s rules, the minute books and any other documents relevant to the items of business on the agenda are available at the meeting;
(d) act fairly, impartially and courteously to all members and others entitled to attend the meeting;
(e) ensure that all members and other persons entitled to speak are able to express their views without unnecessary disturbance or interruption;
(f) adjourn the meeting, when it is not able to complete or continue with its business;
(g) make decisions on points of procedure;
(h) settle disputes by giving rulings on points of order; and
(i) surrender the chair to a temporary chairperson elected by the members for any period during which the chairperson wishes to engage in the debate of any item of business.
(4) A chairperson at a general meeting must not—
(a) from the chair, attempt to influence members’ views on any item of business; or
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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.