This month I address a topic which raises many questions during Lockdown: Annual General Meetings.
Another issue is the confusion and delays, caused by e-mails without the details of the scheme and number, – and a short description of what it is about, in the subject line. Some of the staff here at Jotam, know many clients’ names, but no one can know everyone, and we also don’t know the names of all the trustees of the different schemes. This often means that we have to return the e-mail and ask from where it comes, causing delays!
I hope that this information is of value to you. Please feel free to pass these articles on to your family and friends.
Important communication request!!!
We here at Jotam have a please, please, please, request!
Help yourself by inserting: The name of your scheme, your unit number, and what your e-mail is about, in the subject line of your email!
We will be able to get you to the right person, so much quicker!
The Challenge of Annual General Meetings During Lockdown
It is true that many kinds of meetings can easily be held electronically.
Trustee meetings work well and can easily be arranged and attended. I believe that as we all get used to the new electronic ways, this may well become the newly established way of holding trustee meetings for the future!
It is, however, not as easy with Annual General Meetings, due to the structure thereof.
Management Rule 17 (10) and (11), states the following:
(10) A body corporate may make arrangements for attendance at an annual or special general meeting by telephone or any other method if the method—
(a) is accessible to all members and other persons entitled to attend the meeting;
(b) permits all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other during the meeting; and
(c) permits the chairperson to confirm, with reasonable certainty, the identity of the participants.
(11) A person who attends a meeting as provided under sub-rule (10) is considered present in person at the meeting.
The strict and fixed requirements for AGM’s have complications that must be overcome:
- All owners must have access to the necessary equipment and data required to attend an online meeting.
- Establishing a quorum: Since the new legislation is in operation, a quorum is established by the value of each vote, which is the participation quota of each section in terms of the size of the unit in relation to the total square meterage of all sections together. The weight of a vote and for quorum purposes means that a small section has a lower value than a larger section. Before a business can proceed, the value of sections represented must be at least a third of the total value, so as to establish a quorum. The attendance register must be completed and the values calculated, which in large schemes can take a while.
- Time factor: The many items on the agenda and the amount of documentation that needs to be discussed, will add to the time needed for the meeting. However, the budget will be much easier to discuss, as the original document with calculations and formulas can be displayed on-screen.
- Voting: The legislation prescribes: “except for a special or unanimous resolution, resolutions must be adopted by the majority of the votes, calculated in value, of the members present and voting. The outcome of each vote, including the number of votes for and against the resolution, must be announced by the chairperson and recorded in the minutes of the meeting”. This can be even more complicated and time-consuming online!
- Proxies, Nominations, and questions: It is necessary to have these documents at the managing agent 48 hours before the meeting. It will be of paramount importance to have all the documentation prepared before the meeting, and impromptu relaxations by the meeting cannot be allowed.
I believe that if we can overcome the problems, it will be possible to hold AGM’s online, and it may resolve many issues currently experienced with AGM’s, with insufficient quorums, having everyone on the same page with documents (literally!), travelling at night, parking, etc. etc.
It may work so well that it may be the method of the future, -so from our side, we are working on overcoming the challenges!
Five Rate Cuts This Year Could Reduce Your Bond Term by Over 6 Years
The South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee cut the country’s interest rates by a further 25 basis points on Thursday, 23 July. This is the fifth rate cut this year.
“The difference from 9.75% – the first-rate at the beginning of the year – to 7% on an R1 million home means a monthly saving of around R1,700 on the monthly payment, and a staggering R416,000 over the 20-year bond term,” Carl Coetzee, chief executive officer of BetterBond stated.
“Furthermore, the total savings on an R1 million bond – if one continues the monthly bond repayment amount at the rate from earlier in the year, i.e. when the repo rate was higher at 9.75% – with an interest rate now of 7%, is R304,000.”
“By paying more into the bond in this way, it’s possible to shorten the loan period by 6.25 years.”
He said that this latest cut will accelerate the recovery of the property market, which was already showing signs of sluggish growth before the pandemic.
“Already bond applications for July, according to the latest figures, are up 52% year-on-year, and we expect to see more activity, especially from first-home buyers, as they take advantage of the lowest interest rate in decades.”
Read the full article at www.businesstech.co.za
Strategies to Sell Your Home in a Slow Market
If you’re forced to sell in tough conditions, there are six things you need to remember when listing and staging your home.
Call Minari Nel on 072 588 8136 to receive your free report entitled ‘Strategies to sell your home in a slow market’.
Call NOW to get valuable advice on how you can get the most money for your home.
Pet-Proof Your Garden
Pet-proofing your garden is about keeping your plants intact and keeping your dog safe!
Certain dog breeds need more space and stimulation than others. No matter what kind of dog you have, you need to make time to play with him, take him for walks and make sure he has enough space in your garden.
School is cool
Socialising your dog is important to teach acceptable behaviour, plus it is stimulating for your pet. Dog trainers often have great advice on what to do if your dog is destroying your garden. It’s also important for you as the owner, as this training equips you with skills to discipline your adorable pooch if he does dig up your flowerbeds…
Latches, locks, Collars, and Chips
Make sure your dog can’t access areas where cars exit and enter your property. Doors and gates should have latches that your dog can’t open. Also, get your dog a collar with your contact details on it and chip your pup. If your dog does escape the garden, it will be easier to find him.
When to Walk
When you walk your dog can make a big difference to the survival rate of your grass. Often, a good long walk in the morning before work is perfect for tiring your dog out and preventing holes from ‘appearing’ on your lawn. Get the whole family involved and use it as an excuse to get some exercise!
Imagine being at home all day with nothing to do. It’s no wonder some dogs resort to seeing how big a hole they can dig! Give your dog toys to play with and things to chew. If your dog spends lots of time outside, make sure he has shelter, shade and plenty of water.
Read the full article here.
A lawyer parks his brand new Porsche in front of the office to show it off to his colleagues. As he’s getting out of the car, a truck comes speeding along and takes off the door.
The lawyer starts screaming at the driver hysterically, “My Porsche, my beautiful Porsche is ruined. It’ll simply never be the same again!”
The truck driver shakes his head in disgust: “I can’t believe how materialistic you are! You are so focused on your possessions that you don’t notice anything else in your life.”
“How can you say such a thing at a time like this?” snaps the lawyer.
The driver replies, “Didn’t you realise that your arm was torn off when my truck hit you?”
The lawyer looks down in absolute horror… “Oh no!” he screams. “Where’s my Rolex?!”