Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Motions out of order

Motions Out of Order

The chairperson at a strata general meeting can rule a motion out of order.

Motions out of order can be defined as a motion that is flawed in the sense that if passed it would be unlawful, discriminatory, in conflict with a by-law or the Act, be unenforceable or the like.

The general rule of thumb when drafting a strata motion is that a motion must be worded in such a way that owners can respond with a simple yes or no. The motion must be actionable and should be CLEAR so that a resolution can be implemented.

The chairperson of a meeting must rule a motion is out of order if;

  • the motion, if carried, would conflict with the legislation or the by-laws
  • the motion, if carried, would conflict with another motion already voted on at the meeting
  • the motion, if carried, would be unlawful or unenforceable for another reason (the great catch all)
  • the substance of the motion was not included on the agenda for the meeting
  • proper notice of the motion was not given

Making decisions about what should be deemed out of order requires knowledge of the relevant legislation. Topics will be controversial, contentious and important.  Voices may be raised, fists may thump tables, opinions will differ wildly, and passions may be inspired.  But as chair, you need to captain the ship like a 40-year veteran of the high seas. Decisions must be clear, concise, swift and informed. Read more on running an effective strata meeting here.

NSW

  • The chairperson’s decision at the meeting is absolute.
  • The chairperson should explain why the motion is unlawful or unenforceable, such as giving reference to the Act.

Reference:

  • General Meetings: Schedule 1, 19– Strata Schemes Management Act 2015
  • Committee Meetings: Schedule 2, 15– Strata Schemes Management Act 2015

QLD

  • The persons present and entitled to vote may reverse the chairperson’s ruling by passing an ordinary resolution.
  • The reasons given by the person chairing the meeting for ruling a motion out of order must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
  • Even if an owner submits a motion that is unlawful, unenforceable or would, if passed, conflict with the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 the committee cannot refuse the owner’s motion. However, the chairperson may rule it “out of order” at the general meeting. (Section 76)

Reference: Part 3, 81– Body Corporate & Community Management Regulation 2008 (Standard Module)

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