The owners corporation must have one annual general meeting (AGM) each year. This meeting deals with matters that the owners need to consider including insurance and building defects. Meetings other than the AGM are called general meetings. This information explains how general meetings work and their requirements.
The Chairperson runs the meetings. They do not have a deciding vote. If the Chairperson is away, the people present can choose someone to chair that meeting only.
The Secretary organises the meetings. They provide everyone with notice, prepare and distribute meeting agendas and minutes, and keep the strata roll up-to-date.
Only motions on the agenda for a meeting can be voted on.
If you want something heard at the meeting, you can write to the Secretary with the motion. It must include:
- the motion you are putting forward
- your name
- an explanation of up to 300 words.
A Chairperson can rule that a motion is out of order if:
- proper notice of the motion was not given, or
- it would be unlawful, in conflict with the by‑laws or not enforceable if passed.
Motions on the agenda can be changed at the meeting, except for:
- the subject matter of the motion
- motions determined by pre-meeting electronic voting.
If the motion is changed at the meeting, and then passed, the minutes should document this. These minutes must include a note. It must state that:
- the Secretary can call another meeting to again consider the motion. Owners entitled to vote can write and ask for this meeting. There must be at least a quarter of the total unit entitlements at the meeting.
The Secretary must give each person on the strata roll at least 7 days’ advance notice of a meeting, in writing. The notice can be by post, email or fax. If the notice is sent by post, the Secretary must allow an additional 7 working days for postage.
Use this handy table to calculate the notice period of meetings of the owners corporation. Click here
General meetings, other than AGMs, should be held when needed.
There are two ways to arrange for a general meeting:
- the Secretary or strata committee can call one at any time, or
- if owners entitled to vote, who together hold at least a quarter of the total unit entitlements, ask for a meeting in writing.
The secretary or a strata committee (formerly executive committee) of an owners corporation may convene a strata general meeting (that is not an annual general meeting) of the owners corporation at any time.
If owners request a general meeting, known as a qualified request, the secretary of the owners corporation, or another officer if the secretary is absent, must convene a general meeting not later than 14 days after, receiving a qualified request.
Each owner has one vote for each lot they own. The different types of votes are:
- general resolution: a one lot/one vote format, which requires a majority passing vote (over 50 percent of votes).
- special resolution: a vote by unit entitlement, with no more than 25 percent of the votes cast against it.
- unanimous resolution: where every vote has to be the same.
Most decisions can be made by a simple majority vote (more than 50 percent).
A poll can be called for regardless of the vote. In a poll vote, votes are worked out by counting the unit entitlements.
Voting from a remote location
Voting does not have to be done in person. An owners corporation can vote on matters by:
- teleconference, video-conferencing, email or other electronic devices
- pre-meeting electronic voting. This is a vote by email or other electronic means before the meeting. Both the owners corporation and strata committee can use this method of voting. An election cannot involve a pre-meeting electronic vote.
Who can vote?
Each owner, and each person entitled to a priority vote, can vote at general meetings. The owner or person must be shown on the strata roll. Each person must provide the owners corporation with written notice of their right to vote at general meetings. Other people with voting rights include:
- first mortgagees
- owners of successive estates in a lot, where owners hold lots as trustees.
If someone has outstanding strata fees still owing they are considered unfinancial. They cannot vote unless a unanimous resolution is needed.
An owner can delegate their voting rights to another person, who becomes their proxy. A proxy has no effect if the person who gave the proxy attends the meeting and votes in person.
How to appoint a proxy
An owner can make any person their proxy, including their tenant. Proxies must be given to the Secretary before or at the meeting. For large schemes, the proxy must be given to the Secretary at least 24 hours before the scheduled meeting. The form appointing the proxy must state:
- the date on which the proxy is made
- whether the proxy can vote on all matters, or only certain matters and what those matters are, and
- how the proxy must vote on a motion for the appointment or continuation in office of a strata managing agent.
You can download a proxy from here.
How long is a proxy valid?
A proxy is valid from:
- the date it is signed until the period specified in the proxy (if any), or
- 12 months from the date of signing or the end of the second AGM held after that date.
There are limits on the total number of proxies. The limits held by one person are:
- one proxy vote only for schemes with 20 lots or less, or
- in schemes with more than 20 lots, a number that is equal to no more than 5 percent of the total number of lots.
Proxy votes and material benefits
A proxy cannot be used by a building manager, strata managing agent or an on‑site residential property manager for a financial or material benefit. Material benefits include:
- extending their term of appointment
- increasing their remuneration
- deciding not to pursue, or to delay, legal proceedings involving the proxy holder.
A developer or a person connected with the developer cannot make use of a proxy voting appointment or power of attorney resulting from:
- a condition in a contract for the sale of a strata lot, or
- another related contract or arrangement.
Proxy appointments before 1 August 2008
Proxy voting appointments or powers of attorney in place before 1 August 2008 remain in effect.
If that appointed was from a sale contract that has since been renewed or extended after 1 August 2008, it is not valid.
The agenda for an AGM must include:
- a motion to confirm the minutes of the last general meeting
- a copy of the minutes from the last general meeting (for owners not previously given a copy)
- a motion to consider appointing an auditor
- a copy of the last statement of key financial information and any auditor’s report (if any)
- a motion for accepting the financial statements
- the details of each insurance policy held by the owners corporation
- a motion to consider insurance policies that have not already been taken out
- an item to consider the annual fire safety statement (if one is required for the building) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and arrangements for obtaining the next annual fire safety statements
- an item to consider building defects and rectification. This item is needed until statutory warranties end (those that apply under the Home Building Act 1989) for buildings of the strata scheme
- any other motion to be considered at the meeting
- any motions needing a special or unanimous resolution
- a motion to establish matters the owners corporation will decide on instead of the strata committee, for the year ahead
- a motion to elect the strata committee
- a motion to decide the number of strata committee members
- an item to prepare or review a 10‑year capital works fund plan.
Notices for general meetings must include:
- a motion to confirm the minutes of the last general meeting
- a motion to elect the strata committee, if the meeting is for that purpose
- a form of motion for each other motion to be considered at the meeting
- whether a motion needs a special resolution or unanimous resolution to be passed
- a statement that a vote by an owner does not count if a priority vote is cast for the lot for the same matter
- a statement that an unfinancial owner, mortgagee or covenant charge cannot vote at a meeting on a motion (unless the motion needs a unanimous resolution). This is unless, before the meeting, they pay all contributions levied on them, and any other amounts recoverable from them, in relation to their lot
- a statement that voting or other rights may be carried out by the owner on the strata roll, by a company nominee (if the owner on the strata roll is a corporation), or by an appointed proxy
- how a quorum is determined at meetings, according to NSW strata laws
- A statement about pre-meeting electronic voting. A pre-meeting electronic vote can be ‘cancelled out’ if the motion voted on is amended at the meeting. The notice for the next general meeting must:
- include any amended motion that involved a pre-meeting vote, and
- state that it may be put to the upcoming meeting for a vote, under section 19 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
There must be a quorum at a general meeting before any motion, including electing a strata committee, can be voted on. A quorum is:
- no less than one‑quarter of the people entitled to vote, or
- owners entitled to vote holding one‑quarter or more of the total unit entitlements.
If there is no quorum within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time, the Chairperson must either:
- adjourn the meeting for at least 7 days, or
- declare a quorum and go ahead with the meeting. The quorum is then the owners and proxies present who are entitled to vote.
If there is no quorum within 30 minutes of the start time for the rescheduled meeting, the people entitled to vote, including proxies, can make up a quorum.
A general meeting can be delayed or rescheduled for any reason. A motion must be passed and the person chairing should set the time and place for the next meeting. A written notice should be sent to each owner at least one day before the meeting.
The original owner must hold the first AGM within two months of the end of the initial period. There can be a fine of up to $1,100 if this is not done. Notice of the AGM must be given to each owner and each first mortgagee and covenant chargee shown on the strata roll. This must be done at least 14 days before the meeting.
© State of New South Wales (NSW Fair Trading). For current information on meetings of the owners corporation go to fairtrading.nsw.gov.au
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