Although a fairly high percentage of sectional title schemes in South Africa are poorly run and even heading for big debt and maintenance problems, there is, says Michael Bauer, General Manager of IHFM, which specialises in sectional title management, a marked reluctance among sectional title property owners to attend the all-important Annual General Meetings at which difficult matters can be sorted out.
“What many owners do not realise is that, if they are not capable of attending, they are allowed to appoint a proxy – and this should be done, because it is a right each owner has and he should use it to ensure a fair outcome. If a sectional title scheme has problems they should be known to the unit owners.”
The Prescribed Management Rules, says Bauer, say that the proxy’s appointment must be in writing and must be handed to the chairman before the meeting (a late posting excuse is not acceptable).
Anyone except the managing agent and/or his/her employees can be a proxy.
There are two types of proxies and it has to be specified which votes he or she can make. An ‘open’ proxy allows the proxy to vote on anything on the agenda at his or her sole discretion. The ‘directive’ proxy limits the proxy to the directions given by the owner.
In South Africa, says Bauer, the Sectional Title Act defines no limit to the number of proxies an owner can hold when attending an Annual General Meeting. It can, he repeats, make a big difference to the wellbeing of a sectional title scheme, if owners attend the Annual General Meeting in person or by proxy.
For further information contact Michael Bauer on 083 255 4442 or visit www.ihfm.co.za. IHFM have a weekly online newsletter covering sectional title and property matters that will be supplied on request.