FMS Property Managers and TVDM Consultants

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TVDM Consultants – Zerlinda van der Merwe (Co-Founder | Director)

The chairperson of the trustees, being a member of the body corporate, or not, is the person automatically responsible for chairing trustee meeting, annual general meetings and special general meetings. However, it is possible for any and all of these meetings to be chaired by a person that is not the elected chairperson of the trustees of the body corporate. 

To this end, a chairperson of a meeting has a long list of “to do’s” and “don’ts,”, which I’m sure can be added to scheme by scheme, and as such, the person taking on this role must be willing and capable to do so. 

As a few examples, a chairperson must:

1. Maintain order.

2. Ensure that the business of the meeting can be dealt with at such a meeting.

3. Ensure that the meeting has been called and convened correctly.

4. Ensure that everyone who is in attendance, participating and voting are entitled to be present, participate and vote.

5. Ensure that a quorum is maintained throughout the meeting.

6. Ensure that the proceedings of the meeting are properly recorded.

7. Act fairly, impartially and courteously to all attendees.

8. Ensure that there are no disruptions or interruptions.

9. Deal with points of order.

10. Settle disputes.

11. Ensure that everyone has cast their votes, and have done so correctly.

12. Not share their opinion or vote.

13. Adjourn a meeting if required.

If the chairperson of the trustees is not willing, able or available to chair a meeting, this role can be fulfilled by another trustee, the portfolio manager or another senior person from the managing agent’s offices, a consultant, an attorney, a professional trustee or meeting organiser or an owner (perhaps if the meeting is called by a group of owners). 

It is not unusual, and in our experience more likely, that the managing agent chairs the meeting, and many refer to this as facilitating the meeting. Call it what you will, it is still assuming the role of chairperson and the list above applies. 

Further, if the chairperson of the trustees will not be chairing an annual or special general meeting, the members, present or represented, at the meeting must be in favour of the alternate. We suggest that the person proposed should be introduced and objections, if any, should be called for. If an objection/s is raised, it should be discussed, and if found reasonable, the meeting should proceed to a vote, by ordinary resolution, noting that such a person, if invited by the trustees, or attending as a proxy, is not elected as the chairperson for that meeting, such person may remain and still speak through the chairperson of the trustees or call for a point of order. 

Before taking on this role, make sure that you, or the person proposed, are capable of taking on the task, taking into account the nature of the scheme, the meeting, the attendees and the agenda. 

We can help you answer more of your frequently-asked questions. Take a look at more of our blogs.

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