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The AGM - why it is important to have one and to be there!

The management rules in the Sectional Title Act stipulate that an annual general meeting must  be held within four months of the end of the financial year.  At this meeting the following matters must be addressed:

  • consideration of the financial statements and the trustees' report
  • approval of insurance replacement values
  • approval of income and expenditure statements and determination of the monthly levy
  • appointment of an auditor or accounting officer
  • establishing the number of trustees and election of the trustees
  • any special business set out in the notice.

Notice of the meeting, where and when it will be held, must be delivered to all owners, holders of mortage bonds over units who have formally notified the body corporate of their interests, and the managing agent at least 14 days before the AGM. The notice must be mailed to the domicilium of the owner, which would be the address of the unit, unless the owner notified the body corporate in writing of  and alternative domicilium.

The following documents should also be sent to the owners together with the notice:

  • a copy of the financial statements
  • an itemised schedule of anticipated income and expenditure
  • a schedule  of the insurance value of each unit, as well as the common property
  • a report reviewing the past year, signed by the chairman.

The AGM is a valuable opportunity to have your say in the management of the complex in which you have invested money. This is where concerns about the financial statements can be raised, where you can have your say about planned expenditure and the levy for the next year, and where you decide which trustees you trust to manage the body corporate. If you are not there, you are not looking after your own interests!

The AGM is not the forum to raise problems and grievances at the spur of the moment. The Act does not make provision for an item decribed as "general", and therefore notice of  any special matter that you would like to have discussed at the AGM, need to be given to the trustees well before the meeting, so that it can be provided for in the agenda.

Without your presence, the AGM may have to be postponed, because a minimum number of people (quorum) needs to be present at the AGM. In a complex of 10 units or less, the quorum will be the number of owners (or their representatives by law) holding 50% of the vote; in a complex of 11 to 49 units , the quorum will be the number of owners (or their representatives by law) holding 35% of the vote, and in a complex of 50 or more units, quorum will be the number of owners (or their representatives by law) holding 20% of the vote.

For your own benefit, you should really attend this very important meeting once a year! And if the trustees of your body corporate fail to arrange the AGM within the stipulated time frame, put pressure on them to do so. If you want to sell your unit and the affairs of the body corporate are in shambles, you are going to be at the short end!

 


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