Body Corporates – What are the rules about changing the rules?

In most cases, the process to arrive at a solution carries a heavier weight than the solution itself. Body corporates are not exempt from this statement. When one wants to change the rules of a body corporate, there are certain procedures that need to be followed in order to solidify the validity of the changes made.

Let’s create a fictional scenario: There has been an incident in your complex where a child was bumped by a car at a speed of 20km/h. The driver of the vehicle argued that he did not have enough time to react and the suggestion is brought up that the speed limit be decreased to 10km/h. This rule cannot be implemented without following the steps highlighted below:

  1. The first step is to do your research on what the STSMA (Sectional Title Schemes Management Act) deem as reasonable and fair. The amendment of a rule may not be in conflict with the prescribed rules. It also has to be applicable to all members.
  2. In order to pass the new rule the members have to pass a special resolution of the body corporate where 75% or more of the members who are represented at the general meeting vote in favour of the change. This vote can also be in writing.
  3. There are also several requirements that need to be met to make that 75% valid. The special resolution needs to be taken at a meeting, where the body corporate supplies its members with a 30 day notice period of the proposed resolution. With regards to attendance to this meeting, with a complex with 10 or less units, 50% of members need to be present in person or by proxy. In a scheme of 10 – 50 members, 35% needs to be present and with a scheme of 50 or more units, 25% of residents need to be present. This is referred to as a quorum.
  4. Once the resolution has been approved by the members, the amended rule can be submitted to the Chief Ombud of the Community Schemes Ombud Service for approval and filing of record.

It needs to be said that in select extreme cases, the Sectional Title Act alone is not enough to enforce a rule. In these extreme cases, it may be deemed necessary to take the matter to court or to arbitration.

The proximity of units in a sectional titles scheme requires that its members take each other into consideration and as a result, certain rules need to be put in place. As you can imagine, these rules frequently need to be relooked at and adjusted where necessary. Always remember that in order to make this change valid, the right steps need to be taken.

 

APBCO Brokers is extremely knowledgeable on the topic of Insurance for Sectional Title Schemes and Body Corporates.  Contact us if you want to find out more about our specialist insurance solutions for this market sector.

 

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