It is important to convene a first Trustee or Director meeting as soon as possible, after an AGM, ideally within a week. The important items to cover in that meeting are firstly, to elect a chairman, which is elected by nominations and then a majority vote, assigning portfolios to individual Trustees or Directors and the important ones would be a finance Director or Trustee, maintenance, security, communications, gardens and grounds, and these may be combined or shared depending on capacity and time constraints.
It’s also very important to review the standard resolutions which need to be up to date and on file for the complex, these would be an interest resolution authorising the interest rate to be charged to arrear levy accounts for the benefit of the building, secondly a handover resolution to hand over arrear levy accounts on a standard three months basis to make sure that arrear levy collections can continue promptly and a resolution to authorise levies to be charged on the first in advance, which is necessary for legal collections and commonly scrutinised by judges and magistrates in legal matters.
Also, important will be discussing the roles and responsibilities in terms of requesting quotes, documenting scope of works for quotes and how quotes should be approved because if the decision-making parameters can be agreed upfront this will greatly streamline communication and email volumes down the line and make sure decisions are made correctly.
It’s important to make available to new Trustees and Directors documentation such as the management agreement explaining the role scope and responsibilities of the managing agent, the insurance policy to make sure that is available and the scope of that is understood and importantly as well the preferred contractors that are currently doing work on the common property.
Also, important is to understand the ten-year maintenance plan for sectional title schemes, the work to be planned ahead and how that will be undertaken and when in terms of quotes and getting that work done.
The Annual General Meeting minutes should be approved for circulation at the first meeting and that will then keep the governance of the building up to date which is a very important expectation of the Board of Trustees or Directors.
The challenge to a new board is to make sure that the building is run effectively, that communication to all residents is prompt and complete, and to make sure that they add value to the facility management and the lifestyle of all of their stakeholder residents.
Trafalgar has a suggested agenda for the first meeting covering all the recommended topics and guidance is available from the designated portfolio manager supported by the Divisional Manager as well. Trafalgar also offers a broad range of free e-learning training material as well as online support by email or Trafalgar’s web site.