When are executive committee meetings to be held?

There are no requirements for the executive committee to hold meetings, although it is wise for the executive to meet during their year in tenure and the frequency will depend on the individual strata scheme and the issues that need to be discussed. Meetings are required when the executive needs to make a decision. A chat in the hallway or email to members does not constitute a meeting.

However, the executive committee must meet where not less than one third of the members serve a formal request on the secretary to hold an executive committee meeting (see Schedule 3 Strata Schemes Management Act 19996, in particular clause 7).

1. Who Can Vote
2. Type of Resolutions

Executive Committees

Q1. How do I get onto the executive committee?

A. There are two ways that you can be elected onto the executive committee.
The first is through the Annual General Meeting where the owners corporation elect its executive committee for the ensuing year (see elections of executive committee).

The second is where there is a vacancy on the executive committee during any year (see vacancies on the executive).

Q2. Who is eligible for election to the executive committee?

A. In many instances there is confusion over who can be eligible for election. The problem is not so much on who can be nominated and elected but who cannot nominate someone else.  In brief only owners, company nominees and co-owners (in some circumstances) can nominate people for election.

A person is eligible if they are:

  1. An individual who is an owner (a single person);
  2. a company nominee of a corporation who is an owner; or
  3. an individual who is not an owner but is nominated by an owner who is not a candidate for election.

Those that cannot nominate others are:

  1. A proxy, because their entitlement is to vote only;
  2. a co-owner cannot nominate their other co-owner if they are already a nomination;
  3. a person who is not an owner but is in attendance in another capacity; or
  4. a strata managing agent.

Q3. What is the procedures to elect the executive committee?

A. The executive committee is elected at each Annual General Meeting and the system for the election is relatively simple but must be followed otherwise it is subject to challenge.  The process for Strata schemes with more than 2 lots is:

  1. The chair person announced that all positions are declared vacant and asks for nominations.
  2. The secretary provides to the chairperson all written nomination, which are verified by the chairperson and announced to the meeting.
  3. Nominations are accepted from the meeting (verbally).
  4. After all nominations are in, the chairperson declares that the nominations are closed.
  5. The chairperson then requests a motion for the number of members to be elected.  This must be a number from 1 to 9 (it is suggested that the number be an odd number so as to avoid tied votes).
  6. For each number suggested it must be voted upon (by majority vote unless a poll vote is called).  When a number is determined by the owners corporation it becomes the number of members for the ensuing year.
  7. If the number determined is the same on the number nominated than everyone is elected “unopposed”.
    1. If the number determined is greater than the nominations those nominated are elected and there exists a vacancy/vacancies.  In these instances it is practical to attempt to obtain a further nomination to fill the vacancy.
    2. If the number determined is less than the number of nominations then a ballot must be held (see ballot).

Q4. How do you conduct a ballot in electing the executive committee?

A. Where there are more nominations than positions on the executive, the meeting must hold a ballet to elect the executive committee member.

This involves each person present or by proxy completing a ballet form nominating the person or persons who they wish to have on the executive committee.  The following rules apply:

  • A vote can be given for an number of nominations up to the number decided.  You don’t have to vote for all positions if you don’t want to.
  • A ballot must include:
    • the name of the voter
    • the capacity of the voter (proxy, owner, nominee)
    • the date
    • the Lot number
    • signature of the voter
    • the person who the wish to be elected

Q5. How does an owners corporation notify people about executive committee meetings?

A. Notice of a meetings: There a two distinct processes in sending notices.
Where the strata scheme is a large scheme (as defined) a notice must be given at least 72 hours before the meeting is to be held to each owner and executive committee member and if a notice board is required under the schemes by-law it must be displayed on the notice board. 
Where the strata scheme is not a large scheme the notice must be displayed on the notice board or if the owners corporation is not required to have a notice board then a copy must be given to each owner and executive committee member.
Any notice issued must specify when and where the meeting is to be held and contain a detailed agenda.  Curiously there is no requirement to provide copies of any attachments or supporting documentation although it may be considered appropriate in certain circumstances (so that members are prepared and the meeting can make decisions as quickly as possible).

Notices can also be given by electronic means (ie. email) but only if members have provided their email address to the owners corporation and requested that the email address be used to serve notices.

Q6. How does an executive committee run?

A. There are a lot of requirements surrounding an executive committee meeting (also see questions on convening executive committee meetings and notice requirements). Chairperson’s role: The chairperson (or if the chairperson is not there someone else who the executive committee chose to chair the meeting) must chair the meeting and assist the executive committee make its decisions.

The chairperson does not have a casting vote but does have the power to decide if a motion is out of order (ie. it is illegal).

Quorum: Before a meeting is able to start there must be a quorum.
A quorum is:

  • where there is only one member of the executive, that one member; or
  • where there are 2 or more members, there must be at least one half of the members present.

Decisions

A decision is made by a majority vote either in favour or against a particular motion (if the vote is equal, the motion fails).

In addition an executive committee can hold a meeting where nobody turns up, provided a valid notice is given to each member (with the required motions) and the majority of members approve the motion(s) in writing to the secretary (by way of a voting paper).

In some cases the executive committee will be unable to make a decision:

  • Where the secretary has received a notice apposing a motion (in writing) from owners who represent more than one third of the aggregate unit entitlements for the strata scheme;
  • where there are 2 executive committees meetings being held on the same time; or
  • there is a lack of a quorum.

Adjournment: an executive committee can adjourn a meeting if they pass a resolution to adjourn (for example, to invite an expert to attend the meeting like lawyers, accountants or engineers).

Q7. Who is allowed to vote at an executive committee meeting?

A. Only members of the executive committee (or a substitute member) are able to vote in a meeting of the executive committee.

Q8. When are executive committee meetings to be held?

A. There are no requirements for the executive committee to hold meetings, although it is wise for the executive to meet during their year in tenure and the frequency will depend on the individual strata scheme and the issues that need to be discussed.  Meetings are required when the executive needs to make a decision.  A chat in the hallway or email to members does not constitute a meeting.
However, the executive committee must meet where not less than one third of the members serve a formal request on the secretary to hold an executive committee meeting (see Schedule 3 Strata Schemes Management Act 19996, in particular clause 7).

Q9. What does an executive committee do about minutes?

A. The first thing it must do is keep a record of any decision made (usually in minute books).  There is no requirement to note all discussions during the meeting.

As with sending notices for meetings the type of strata scheme determines how it must notify its owners of the decisions.

If the strata scheme is a large scheme then it must give a copy to each owner and executive committee member and display a copy on the notice board (if it is required to have one).

If the strata scheme is not a large scheme the owners corporation must place a copy of the minutes or resolutions on its notice board (if it is required to have one).  If the does not have a notice board a copy must be given to each owner and executive committee member.

Curiously there are no provisions for the minutes or resolutions to be sent by electronic means.

Any minutes or resolutions sent must be done within 7 days of the meeting or the resolution being made.

Where the minutes or resolutions are placed on any notice board they are to remain there for not less than 14 days.

Quorums and Entitlement to Vote

Q1. What is a quorum?

A. The first thing to understand in determining a quorum is that the quorum must be present for all motions that are to be considered by the owners corporation.  In addition a quorum for a unanimous decision is different than for all other types of decisions.

There are two ways that a quorum is decided.

The first is where at least one quarter of the number of persons are entitled to vote on the motion or election who are present either personally or by duly appointed proxy.

The second is where at least one quarter of the aggregate unit entitlement is represented by the persons who are present and entitled to vote on the motion or the election, either personally or by duly appointed proxy.

Also to consider is that where there is more than one owner in the strata scheme the minimum number of lot owners (eligible to vote) must be at least 2.

Q2. Who is “Entitled to vote”?

There are a range of persons who are entitled to vote on motions including:

  • An individual owner
  • Joint owners (but there are special conditions for them)
  • A company nominee where the lot is owned by a company

A person with a priority vote (a mortgagee of a lot where they are registered on the strata roll or a covenant chargee registered on the strata roll)

Q3. Are there any restrictions on being “entitled to vote?

Yes there are.  There are generally 2 ways that a vote is restricted and does not count (and is not included for the purposes of quorums).

The first is where the owner has not paid their levy contributions.  This disentitles them to vote on all motions except unanimous resolutions.

The second is where the person (or company) is not registered on the strata roll (and has not complied with section 118).

An example:

Lot

Entitlement

Lot

Entitlement

1

10

6

10

2

20

7

20

3

30

8

10

4

30

9

10

5

10

10

50

In this situation the aggregate is 200 unit entitlements and ¼ would be 50 unit entitlements.

  • If 3 lot owners attended who were entitled to vote there would be a quorum
  • If only 2 lot owners attended it would depend on who they were.  If they were lots 1 and 6 (total 20 U/E’s) then there would not be a quorum.
  • If the 2 lot owners were lots 5 and 10 (60U/E’s) then there would be a quorum.
  • If only lot 10 attended (50U/E’s) there would not be a quorum.

Original owner issues:  Where the original owner still holds lots in the scheme that total more than half of the total aggregate of unit entitlements then the votes are reduced accordingly.  However, the counting of the original owner in relation to quorums does not change.

Q4. What about 2 lot schemes?

2 lot schemes have different quorum requirements (basically both owners must attend the first meeting – see 2 lot schemes).

Types of Resolutions

Q1. How do you determine a special resolution?

Special resolutions are difficult to determine whilst seeming simple at first reading of the requirements.  Under the legislation a special resolution is where a motion is passed where not more than one-quarter of the value of votes cast are cast against the motion.

The value of a vote being determined on the unit entitlements apportioned to the lot.

An example:

Lot

Entitlement

1

10

2

20

3

10

4

10

5

20

6

10

7

20

In this situation the aggregate is 100 unit entitlements and ¼ would be 25 unit entitlements.

If all lots voted:  If all lots voted on the motion then the votes cast against must not exceed 25 otherwise the motion is lost.  So, if lots 1 and 2 voted against the motion it would be lost but if only lots 1 and 3 voted against the motion it would pass.

If all lots do not vote:  In some instances all lots may not vote (they may not attend the meeting or may chose to abstain or not vote at all).  In this case the aggregate “of the vote” is reduced and as a result the relative value of votes cast against changes.

If lots 1 and 3 either did not vote or did not attend the meeting they are not considered as taking part in the vote. The aggregate of votes would be 80 and the votes against must not exceed 20.  So, if lots 2 and 4 vote against the motion it would fail but if lots 4 and 6 voted against the motion it would pass (if all others voted in favor).

Original owner issues:  Where the original owner still holds lots in the scheme that total more than half of the total aggregate of unit entitlements then the votes are reduced accordingly.  If the original owner owned lots 2, 5 and 7 then the vote would be reduced to a third (1/3 of 60 = 20).  The total aggregate would then be 60 and the votes cast against must not exceed 15.  So, if all lots voted and lots 3 and 4 voted against the motion would fail but if only lot 6 voted against the motion would pass.

In addition if the original owner voted against the motion (for the 3 lots = 20 unit entitlements) the motion would fail.


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