13 Jun 2013
Most owners in sectional title schemes do whatever they can to avoid sitting through the annual general meeting of their building’s body corporate.
Andrew Schaefer, managing director of the Trafalgar Group, warns that this could be a big mistake.
“Attending the AGM is the sectional title owners’ only real chance of influencing how their scheme is run,” he says.
The decisions made at an AGM directly affect the owners' lifestyles and finances, so it’s worth the time taken to attend and take part in these decisions.
Most serious disputes in schemes are about money, says Schaefer. The AGM is where members get the chance to hear how their money is being spent. Approval of the budget for the coming year is another critical point of discussion. At the AGM, members have the opportunity to discuss, and have explained to them, if necessary, how their money was spent, and if any special levies are likely to be necessary.
Another point of dissatisfaction amongst owners is the behaviour of trustees and the chairperson. The AGM gives owners the opportunity to nominate one or more persons as a trustee and to vote for the people of their choice for this very important function.
Once suitable trustees have been voted into office, there is opportunity at the AGM to direct or restrict their activities by making a proposal. For example, a proposal that a new managing agent be appointed.
Schaefer advises that while any owner can try to influence aspects of a management scheme, a single owner’s influence is limited. He says the best way to make sure your voice is heard is to lobby other owners before the AGM. "The more people who raise their voice on an issue, the more likely they are to make a permanent impression even if they are eventually outvoted.”
It is best to attend the meetings, make your voice heard and play a role in what is a very important financial and lifestyle asset to owners.
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