Sectional title properties have become a popular way of living for many South Africans, and along with this type of living comes a body corporate and trustee setup. When you buy a sectional title property, you automatically become a part of the body corporate which is the collective name for the owners of the properties within the scheme. The role of the body corporate is to manage and maintain the property and the finances of the scheme. Trustees are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by way of nomination and then each trustee is responsible for a different portion of the overall duties. It’s important that trustees understand the role that they should be playing in the body corporate, so we’ve outlined 5 key areas of responsibility for trustees below.
Meetings are a must
It’s up to the trustees to ensure that meetings are held to communicate about which duties need to be carried out and make sure that the body corporate, as a whole, is aligned. Trustees need to set up AGMs every year, to discuss financial statements, decide where the budget should be allocated, and report on various projects. Without communication, a body corporate cannot successfully make decisions and stay on the same page, so these meetings are vital to keep trustees and other body corporate members aligned. While Covid-19 may be around, these meetings can still be held online or within a safe social distance, using masks (according to any government rules).
Maintaining common property in the Sectional Title Scheme is another duty that falls on the trustees. This includes any cleaning, staff management and security tasks that are required for the scheme. Maintenance is imperative when it comes to property and keeping common areas clean and tidy falls on the trustees to do. Part of this also includes making sure that all buildings are insured adequately and that someone is dealing with the scheme’s managing agent. Building insurance is essential yet it can often be overlooked, particularly when it comes to common areas, so it’s the trustees role to get this done.
Keeping the bucks in a row
First and foremost, it’s up to the trustees to make sure that there’s a bank account for the scheme. They need to keep track of all the financial records of the body corporate and get all financial statements audited by a professional firm. Trustees also need to present an outline of the estimated income and budget for the following year, to homeowners in the body corporate. Basically, it is up to the trustees to manage all of the finances for the scheme and to provide a clear record of all transactions. This is an important job and it shouldn’t be taken lightly as finances form an integral part of a Sectional Title scheme’s functionality.
Rules are rules
Keeping and enforcing the code of conduct rules are a part of the trustees’ duties. This involves keeping a record of the current rules that have been decided by the body corporate and making sure that all homeowners are sticking to those rules. The rules are there to make sure that everyone can live in harmony, and for the sake of all homeowners, it’s a good idea that these are in place and adhered to.
Don’t leave out levies
A vital element of the trustees’ role is to make sure that a fair levy payment has been decided on and that all levy payments are up to date and paid via the method which has been chosen. This also includes collecting any levy payments that haven’t been made, which can mean collecting interest on levies that are overdue. Trustees need to see to it that levy payments are used in respect of specific sections of the scheme, as well as the common use areas.
Propell works with numerous Sectional Title Schemes across South Africa by providing them with financial solutions. Our Debtor Finance option provides a reliable and steady cash flow for Sectional Title Schemes when there are unpaid levies, and our Project Loans option is a revolving loan facility for property maintenance, renovations and projects. We’re in the business of building trust, so get in touch with us if you’d like to know how we can help your community scheme achieve its vision.