It seems that nobody wants to be a Trustee. Sometimes this is because owners think that a body corporate is being well run by the Managing Agents and just want to leave it in their capable hands. Sometimes it is for the exact opposite reason – where a building is not being well run and people don’t want to get involved.
A Trustee is an owner, usually, who can act on behalf of all other owners. A bad Trustee would be one who is looking after his/her own interests. A good Trustee should be one that is used to managing in a similar situation. While a Trustees without these management skills could be a good Trustee, it is often not the case. Trustees need to read and understand the Sectional Titles Management Act. It is near impossible to do things right if you don’t.
Trustees need to have their heart in the right place. Trustees that demand that Managing Agents do things their way, without understanding why the managing agents work to a particular system are likely to cause a disaster. Even good managing agents are likely to get frustrated when this happens. The last thing that should happen in a well-run scheme would be for new Trustees to totally change the way that management is being done. For this reason, it helps for there to be a gradual change over of trustees rather than a complete change at one time. At the same time, it is not always good for Trustees to stay on for a long time as they, and especially, the Chairman could become set in his/her ways.
Key characteristics of a Trustee
- Act in the good faith and honesty
- Exercise power in interest and benefit of the Body Corporate
- Avoid conflict of own interest with those of the Body Corporate
- Not receive personal economic benefit direct or indirect from Body Corporate or other member
- Notify other Trustees if any such situation might arise or becomes aware of.