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Sectional Title

Chairperson

The chairperson’s main role is to conduct and chair all body corporate meetings where he will:
•Open the meeting formally, accepting the previous minutes;
•Confirm if there is a quorum or not;
•Go through the agenda and discuss any points for or against decisions being made;
•If there is any voting necessary the chairperson will take the written ballots, check the result and declare the outcome;
•Ensure that limit on expenses is not exceeded in any way.

What is a Unanimous Resolution?

 

blank list of resolutions on blackboard

 

A Unanimous Resolution means a resolution that is:

  • passed unanimously;
  • by all the members of a body corporate;
  • who are present or represented by proxy or by a representative recognized by law;
  • at a general meeting of the body corporate;
  • of which at least 30 days’ written notice;
  • specifying the proposed unanimous resolution, has been given; and
  • at which meeting at least;
  • 80% of all the members of a body corporate (reckoned in number) and in value;

OR

  • Agreed to in writing by all the members of the body personally or by proxy or by a representative of any such member recognized by law.

What Are Unanimous Resolutions Required For?

  • Luxurious improvements.
  • Changes to management rules.
  • Alienation of common property.
  • For the body corporate to grant and transfer the exclusive use of common property to member.
  • Destruction or deemed destruction and decision not to rebuild.

For the purposes of the definition of a “unanimous resolution” a notice contemplated in that definition shall be deemed adequate if:

  • It has been delivered to;
  • Or dispatched to the address;
  • Of a member’s unit in the relevant scheme; or
  • Such other address as a member may have indicted in writing for the purposes of such notice.

A member present

  • or represented at a meeting contemplated in that definition;
  • who himself; or
  • through a proxy or representative as the case may be;
  • abstains from voting on the resolution in question;
  • shall be regarded as having voted in favour of the resolution.

Where The Resolution In Question

  • Adversely affects the proprietary rights; or
  • Powers of any member as owner;
  • The resolution shall not be regarded as having been passed;
  • Unless such member consents in writing thereto.

Making and amending rules in a sectional title scheme

 

Health-Law-Rules

Managing a sectional title scheme and, to a large extent, living in a scheme are activities regulated by the provisions of the Sectional Titles Act (the Act) and two sets of rules. The two sets of rules are prescribed in annexures to the regulations of the Act. I will refer to them as the prescribed management rules (PMR) and the prescribed conduct rules (PCR).

Some schemes, particularly older ones, also have “house rules” but these are rules that the body corporate has allowed the trustees to make and they should only deal with simple issues like when to put the refuse out. It’s best to stick to using the conduct rules for all such “housekeeping” provisions.

The original intention of the Act was quite simply to provide a legal framework for people to own their own flats. The provisions of the Act and rules were designed to be used to manage the resulting schemes. However, things have changed since 1971 and now sectional title is commonly used to develop commercial, retail and industrial as well as residential schemes. And residential schemes are now not only traditional blocks of flats, but can be “complexes” of varying sizes and include every imaginable type of residence. It may well be that certain provisions of the Act and some rules don’t suit the operation of some schemes any more. Only parliament can change the Act, but the rules can be tailored to better suit a particular scheme.

When the developer of the scheme applies for the opening of the register, he or she may change a few of the prescribed management rules, but once the developer has transferred half the units to other people, the body corporate can change any of the rules. But no amended or new management rule may contradict any provision of the Act or be unreasonable and all rules must apply equally to owners of section put to the same use. This last point means that the body of management rules in a scheme can apply differently to owners of residential units and commercial or retail units in mixed schemes. So, for example, very different rules can apply to signage and security.

Section 35 of the Act stipulates that a unanimous resolution is required to amend or create a management rule and a special resolution is required for a conduct rule. It is not always necessary to convene a special general meeting in order to take these resolutions changing the rules – they can be taken in writing or at the AGM. If they are taken at the AGM, the relevant notice requirements must be met and the required quorum must be present while the resolution is debated and taken. New rules and amendments to existing rules must be correctly filed in the scheme’s register at the Deeds Office and only then do they become enforceable.

 

Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 6, Issue 6, Page 1

Sectional Title History

Ownership of part of a building was not possible in terms of South African common law. Until 1973, when the first sectional title legislation came into effect, you could not own part of a building; title deeds dealt only with land. Conventional title deeds still do not make any reference to the buildings on a piece of land.

1973

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