We just can’t obtain an unanimous resolution – now what?

Unanimous resolutions are notoriously difficult to obtain. Before voting for or against, this type of resolution can even commence at general meetings, you need to have at least 80% of the body corporate’s members in value and number present or represented at the meeting (which anyone with sectional title experience will tell you is near impossible). Once you manage to get that many members to attend the meeting, you need every single one of them to vote in favour of the resolution. The alternative? Getting all members of the body corporate to agree to the proposed resolution in writing. So not only do you somehow need to get all of the members to respond to your request in writing, but they all have to respond positively – a challenging prospect indeed.

If you are unsuccessful in your efforts to get a unanimous resolution passed at a general meeting section 6(9) of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act offers a lifeline in stating:

A body corporate or an owner who is unable to obtain a special or unanimous resolution may approach the chief ombud for relief.

How should you seek relief in such circumstances? 

You have to send the following documentation to the Chief Ombud:

  1. A completed and signed Form ST1, attached to the CSOS Circular No 2 of 2018 (this document can be downloaded from the CSOS’s website: csos.org.za);
  2. The minutes of the meeting showing the result of the votes cast (in value and number);
  3. Confirmation by the trustees of the number and value of votes cast in favour of the resolution;
  4. A numbered list of the members who voted in favour of the resolution;
  5. A numbered list of the members who voted against the resolution; and
  6. Reasons furnished by the members who voted against the resolution and their contact details.

It is important to take note that the above mentioned CSOS Circular stipulates that the Chief Ombud will not approve an application for approval of a unanimous resolution if less than 75% in number and value of members entitled to vote have voted in favour of the resolution, so you still need the vast majority of members to be in favour of the resolution to obtain such relief. Therefore a single owner or minority of owners who feel that the majority acted unreasonably when voting against a unanimous resolution should rather seek an order from an adjudicator in terms of section 39(4)(d) of the CSOS Act.

Should you require any advice or assistance regarding a failed attempt at obtaining a unanimous resolution, email the details of your matter to consulting@paddocks.co.za and we will be in touch with a no-obligations quotation.

Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 15, Issue 2.

Specialist Community Scheme Attorney (BA (Law) LLB), Ané de Klerk, combines her work experience as a Portfolio Manager with knowledge of conveyancing and community scheme law.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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