Q&A about appointing trustees, sinking foundations, selling your parking bay, and more

We have heard it all! From a one-trustee AGM to no opportunity to vote for new trustees in four years and husband-and-wife trustees, and much more. We have received some interesting questions so far this year and, in this blog, post we would like to share some of these questions and answers with you in the hope that you will find it interesting or useful.

No new trustees in four years

“Our body corporate has an Annual General Meeting at the end of each year. Should there be a voting opportunity during the meeting to vote for members for the committee of the body corporate? Our committee consists of about 86% members that was co-opted over a period of 3 years. I have lived in the complex for 4 years now and there has never been a voting opportunity for new or current members of the committee of the BC during the AGM.”


Trustees are only elected to serve the scheme from one annual general meeting to the next and trustees automatically resign at the following AGM. Trustees cannot automatically continue to serve as a trustee from one AGM to the next. The STSMA is very clear on how persons must be nominated to be considered as trustees. Persons may not be elected if due process has not been followed.

The prescribed agenda for an AGM contained in the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) makes provision for two items that relate to trustees. The first is to decide on how many trustees the scheme want to appoint for the new financial year. The second is to elect trustees for the new year.

Sinking foundation

“Under foundation pipes have caused water to collect under the house, causing cracks and water damage with sinking of foundation. Is it covered by insurance under the building?”


Not all insurance policies cover this potential type of damage. Some policies may have the cover as an automatic inclusion while in other instances, the body corporate may have to request a quotation from the insurer to include it in their policy.

This type of cover can also be geographical of nature. Residential areas in Johannesburg and Pretoria are more likely to have this cover because of years of underground mining. The result of the mining is normally the appearance of sinkholes and subsidence.

Husband and wife trustees

“May two trustees be appointed in a sectional title scheme that share the same household, i.e. husband and wife, one of which is the chairperson?”


The STSMA does not distinguish between who may or may not be appointed as a trustee; the Act justrequires due process to be followed. Ultimately, it will be up to the members in the scheme to elect the person that have been nominated. Should they feel that elected two people from the same household as being a conflict of interest, then the members need to take a stance when they elect the trustees.

Voting when in arrears

“How do you prevent an owner who is in arrears to vote without contravening the POPIA Act by identifying the person?”


Owners who are in arrears with their levies are allowed to vote at an AGM unless there is a court order or adjudication order against them for failing to pay their levies.

The trustees are responsible for the financial management of a scheme and they have a fiduciary obligation to act in good faith. Where the POPIA applies, confidential information relating to the management of the scheme may only be shared for the purpose it is intended to. If this requires that defaulting owners need to be informed that they are no longer allowed to vote because of legal actions taken against them, then this must be done.

Quorums in sectional title and HOA

“What is the difference between quorums needed for sectional title vs HOA at an AGM or special general meeting?”


The STSMA is specific with regards to what the quorum requirements are for an AGM and a special general meeting.

Quorums for HOAs are determined either in terms of their constitutions (common law association) or memorandum of incorporation (non-profit association).

How to sell your parking bay

“How can one trade or sell an exclusive use area (parking bay) to another unit owner where the exclusive use was created through rules?”


Exclusive use areas (EUA) can only be sold to another owner in the same scheme if the EUA was created as a real right. Where EUAs were created in the rules of the scheme, they cannot be sold.

These EUAs are dedicated to specific sections in the scheme and not to the people who own the sections. For an EUA to be changed to another owner for their use, the body corporate will have to convene a special general meeting where the EUAs are reallocated. The amendments must then be registered with the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) before making them effective.

No more trustees left

“We have numerous people in arrears with their levies. Paddock states that they can still vote at the AGM. Also, there is only one trustee left from five – one passed away, one sold and two resigned. Should the remaining trustee chair this year’s AGM?”


Owners that are in arrears may vote at an AGM, but not if they have a court order or adjudication order against them for failing to pay their body corporate levies.

The minimum number of trustees required to serve is two. If there is only one trustee left then no decisions may be made with regards to the body corporate until, at least, a second trustee has been co-opted. The remaining trustee may chair the AGM if the members do not object to them doing so.