'New law gives trustees control in body corporate meetings'

Owning a home in a sectional title complex can sometimes be testing and a recent amendment to the Prescribed Management Rules (PMRs) has raised more concerns with several sectional title owners.

Owners are concerned that they are no longer entitled to attend and speak at trustees’ meetings.

(Also read our article: The legal rights of sectional title owners and body corporates)

However Marina Constas, Director and Specialist Attorney in Sectional Titles from BBM Attorneys, says the changes only mean to empower trustees in their own meetings.

The law is aimed at giving trustees a measure of control. Sectional title owners would previously hijack the meetings and the new law says that they may attend by invitation.

Marina Constas, Director and Specialist Attorney in Sectional Titles from BBM Attorneys

Originally, PMR 15(5) stated that any owner in a sectional title scheme was “entitled” to attend and speak at a meeting of the trustees of the scheme, although the owner could not vote at the meeting.

The rule has been amended to state that an owner may attend a trustees’ meeting “on invitation”. The amendment does not specify who must extend the invitation: any of the trustees, the majority of the trustees, or the chairman.

The amended rule also no longer includes the phrase “and speak”, which could be interpreted to mean that they are no longer entitled to express an opinion or ask questions.

According to Constas, the amendments are not curtailing the rights of sectional title owners, but rather leverage discretion for trustees.

Listen to the full conversation, with Africa Melane standing in, on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

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