The Agenda - Your Roadmap to Effective Decisions in Sectional Title Scheme Meetings
Article by Graham Paddock
Navigating your way through a sectional title scheme meeting can sometimes be daunting. But don't worry: understanding the purpose of the agenda can simplify the process and allow you to participate more effectively.
Understanding the Role of an Agenda:
The agenda is a guide to what can and cannot be discussed and decided at the meeting. It's like a roadmap or a table of contents.
Owners can propose resolutions and amendments under these agenda items. However, these need to remain within the scope of the item as set out in the agenda. Chairpersons and members can look at the agenda to ensure that any proposals and discussions that take place while the meeting is focused on this item are directly relevant to the item as set out in the agenda. The agenda, which is distributed with notice of the meeting, also serves to give all members advance notification of the items that can and will be discussed and on which decisions may be made.
The 'Any Other Business' Item:
This item of business (AOB) can often be misunderstood. This is an opportunity to raise and discuss additional topics related to the scheme. While this is like an open forum for scheme-related issues, it's important to remember that it's not a time when owners can take on-the-spot decisions or resolutions.
Why is this so? Well, if an owner introduces a new issue under AOB and expects a decision to be made there and then, it's not fair to all members. There has not been adequate notice given to those present or those who are absent. This lack of notice denies the owners who are present the necessary time to properly consider the new issue, discuss it with others, or seek advice on an issue that could be significant to them. This situation also denies absent owners the opportunity to participate in the discussion and decision-making process. Had they been informed earlier, they might have chosen to attend the meeting to have their say on the matter.
The Purpose of Prior Notice:
Ultimately, the purpose of the agenda is to provide prior notice. It allows owners to know the topics of discussion that will arise and decide whether they need to be present to deal with a specific matter.
Respect for the agenda not only promotes a well-organised meeting but also safeguards the rights of all owners, both present and absent, ensuring they are given adequate time and information to make informed decisions. So an agenda is much more than just a meeting plan. It's your roadmap to navigating and effectively participating in your sectional title scheme meetings. Armed with this understanding, you can confidently engage with your community scheme meetings and make your voice heard!
Graham Paddock is a specialist community schemes attorney, notary and conveyancer. He has been advising clients and teaching students for over 40 years, and was an adjunct professor at UCT for 10 years.
Article reference: Paddocks Press
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.