Meetings of the Strata Committee – What you need to know!
The owners corporation needs to elect a strata committee and then can delegate some of its functions to this committee. The strata committee’s role is to make quicker decisions on the day-to-day issues and management of the scheme. Any decision made by the strata committee is treated as a decision of the owners corporation.
Strata committee members are responsible for electing office bearers – Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. This usually takes place at the first committee meeting after the annual general meeting. Strata committee meetings can be held as often as the members like, the Secretary can call a meeting or one third of the strata committee members can ask the Secretary, or any other committee member, to call a meeting.
Each member of the strata committee, and every lot owner, need to be notified of an intended strata committee meeting at least 3 days before the meeting is due to be held. The notice of the meeting must include a detailed agenda for the meeting.
In a large strata scheme (more than 100 lots), the Secretary or meeting organiser needs to put the notice of the meeting on the noticeboard and deliver it to each owner. In other strata schemes, the notice can either be put on the notice board or delivered to each owner. You can deliver the notice by post or email or in person to someone over the age of 16 years at that address. If no address is recorded in the strata roll then the notice needs to be delivered to an owner by:
- delivering it personally
- sending it to their postal or email address
- placing it in their letterbox, or
- leaving it on a part of their lot that is their residence, but not in a garage or storeroom.
An owner or, the company nominee of the corporation, can attend strata committee meetings but they cannot speak unless the committee allows.
If the Chairperson is present they must attend all strata committee meetings. If they’re away, the strata committee must appoint another committee member to chair that meeting only.
The quorum for a strata committee meeting exists when at least half of the appointed members are present.
Each strata committee member, other than any tenant member, has one vote. The Chairperson does not have a deciding vote under any circumstances. A decision on any motion at a strata committee meeting is made by a majority vote. A member of the strata committee is not entitled to vote if they are an unfinancial owner of a lot in the strata scheme when the notice of meeting was given and the amounts owed by them were not paid before the meeting or if the person who nominated them is unfinancial.
If a strata committee member has a monetary or other interest that could raise a conflict of interest in relation to matter to be considered by the committee, this interest must be disclosed at a meeting of the committee. After a member has made this disclosure they must not be present when the particular matter is discussed and they cannot vote on the matter unless the committee resolves otherwise. Details about the potential conflict of interest needs to be recorded.
A strata committee meeting can be adjourned for any reason if a motion is passed at the meeting. Notice of when and where the adjourned meeting will be must be put on the noticeboard. If there is no noticeboard, written notice must be given to each owner at least one day before the meeting.
Unlike general meetings, the strata committee can vote on a motion in writing even if a meeting was not held. For this to be a valid vote, the correct procedure for giving notice of the meeting must be followed and a copy of the motion to be voted on should be given to each committee member. The motion is approved if the majority of strata committee members, other than any tenant member, approve the passing of the motion in writing.
A strata committee can pass a resolution to adopt any of the following ways of voting:
- voting by teleconference, video-conferencing, email or other electronic means by a member while participating in a meeting from a remote location, or
- voting by email or other technological means before the meeting at which the matter is to be determined by the committee. This can include accessing a voting website or even a Facebook page. This form of voting cannot be used for the election of officers of the strata committee.
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.
Owners holding more than one-third of the total unit entitlements for the strata scheme can oppose any motion. Written notice of the objection must be given to the secretary before a decision on the motion is made. Any decision made by the strata committee on that matter will have no force or effect.
A strata committee must keep full and accurate minutes of all meetings. The minutes must include details of all resolutions passed, including those considered without holding a meeting. Within 7 days after a meeting of a strata committee or the passing of a resolution by the strata committee, copies of the minutes must be given to each member of the committee. In a large strata scheme a copy of the minutes must be given to each owner who requests a copy within seven days. In other strata schemes a copy of the minutes must be given to each owner within 7 days.
In schemes where tenants make up more than 50 per cent of occupants, a tenants representative may have been nominated by the tenants to be their representative (member) on the strata committee. Whilst the tenant representative is free to speak at meetings, they cannot contribute to the numbers required for a quorum for the committee, and do not have a vote on motions put before the committee. The tenant representative can also be excluded from a meeting whilst the following matters are being discussed or determined:
- financial statements and auditor’s reports
- levying of contributions
- recovery of unpaid contributions
- a strata renewal proposal under Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 or any related matter.
For information on the appointment of a tenants representative, read the tenant participation page.