General Meetings

See sections 77 & 127 of the Act

First Annual General Meeting
 

The first annual general meeting (AGM) of the strata company must be held by the scheme developer, within three

months of the registration of the strata titles scheme.

At the first AGM, the scheme developer must hand over relevant plans, specifications and documents (referred to as

key documents) to the strata company, including:

  • the scheme documents, comprising:

  • scheme plan

  • the scheme by-laws

  • the schedule of unit entitlements

  • if a leasehold scheme, a copy of the lease

  • certificates of development approval, subdivision approval, building approvals and occupancy permits

  • official notices, including:

  • election of council members

  • consideration of accounts

  • the presentation of copies of certificates and schedules for the insurance required under this Act,

  • current as at the date of the meeting

  • specifications, diagrams and drawings of buildings within the scheme (including any specifications,

  • diagrams and drawings that show utility conduits, utility infrastructure or sustainability infrastructure)

  • warranty documents and operational and servicing manuals for equipment and infrastructure on the

  • common property

  • certificates and schedules of insurance

  • contracts, leases or licences that will bind the strata company

  • accounting records of the strata company

  • any other key document relating to a stage of subdivision.

Subsequent AGMs must be held each year with no more than 15 months passing between meetings (see section 127 of the Act).

A two-lot scheme is not required to hold AGMs after the first statutory general meeting held by the scheme developer but can pass a by-law if they wish to hold AGMs.

General Meetings
 

See sections 77,127-134 of the Act

All owners of lots in a strata titles scheme and first mortgagees of those lots must be given at least 14 days’ notice of every general meeting of the strata company for the scheme.

The notice must include:

  • the date, time and venue of the meeting

  • for an AGM, each item of business required by s 127 (3) of the Act

  • for special business, notice of the general nature of that business

  • notice of each method of voting, through electronic communication or otherwise, that is acceptable to the strata company.

Accidental omission to give notice to or non-receipt of the notice by the owner or first mortgagee of a lot does not invalidate any proceedings at the meeting.

 

The owner of a lot may give written notice to a member of the council of the strata company of an item of business the owner requires to be included on the agenda for a general meeting. The item must be included on the agenda for the meeting and notice must be given of that item as an item of special business.

 

A general meeting may sometimes be adjourned by the chairperson, with the consent of the meeting. However, no business may be transacted at an adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting from when the adjournment took place.

A person is not entitled to move a motion at a general meeting or to nominate a candidate for election as a member of the council, unless the person is entitled to vote on the motion or at the election

EGM
 

See section 128 of the Act

An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of a strata company is a general meeting of the strata company other than an AGM and:

  • may be convened by the council of the strata company as the council thinks fit; and

  • must be convened by the council of the strata company on the written request of owners entitled to 25 per cent or more of the unit entitlements of the lots in the scheme.

The owners making the written request or any of them holding more than 50 per cent of the unit entitlements of the lots in the scheme, may convene an EGM if the council does not take steps to convene the meeting within 21 days of the request. This EGM must be held within of three months starting from the day the request was made.

All business transacted at an extraordinary general meeting is taken to be special business.

Resolutions at General Meetings
 

Many matters concerning the day to day running of the strata titles scheme can be managed and decisions taken without the need for the strata company to formally vote on them.

But in some cases, the Act sets out that a specific resolution is required – that is, a formal vote by the strata company on the matter. For example, if the owners of a strata scheme want to introduce a new governance by-law, it must be voted in by a resolution without dissent.

Types of Resolutions

Unanimous resolution

Resolution without dissent

Special Resolution

Ordinary Resolution

 

Unanimous resolution

Every strata lot votes in favour of the resolution.

The following criteria for the vote must also be met:

  • Each lot owner receives 14 days’ notice of the terms of the proposed resolution.

  • There is a voting period of 28 days.

  • If the vote is taken at a meeting, lot owners who were not present in person or by proxy receive written notice of the outcome of the vote.

  • Any lot which did not vote at the meeting may vote by written notice before the voting period closes.

Resolution without dissent

No strata lots vote against the resolution.

The following criteria for the vote must also be met:

  • Each member of the strata company receives 14 days’ notice of the terms of the proposed resolution.

  • There is a voting period of 28 days.

  • If the vote is taken at a meeting, lot owners who were not present in person or by proxy receive written notice of the outcome of the vote.

  • Any lot which did not vote at the meeting may vote by written notice before the voting period closes.

  • In a two-lot scheme, a ‘resolution without dissent’ is only passed if both lots vote in favour.

Special Resolution

The criteria for a special resolution varies with the size of the scheme.

Special resolution – schemes with more than five lots

For all schemes with more than five lots, a special resolution is always in two parts: those that vote for the

motion, and those that vote against:

  • The votes in favour must be at least 50% of both the number of lots and the unit entitlements in the scheme.

  • The votes against must be less than 25% of both the number of the lots and the unit entitlements in the scheme.

Special resolution – schemes with three to five lots

For three to five lot schemes, those that vote for the motion must hold at least 50% of the unit entitlements, as

well as achieving the following number of votes:

  • two lots in a three-lot scheme

  • three lots in a four-lot scheme

  • four lots in a five-lot scheme.

Special resolution – schemes with two lots

In a two-lot scheme, a ‘special resolution’ is only passed if both lots vote in favour.

No matter how many lots there are in a scheme, for a special resolution to be passed it must also meet the

following criteria:

  • Each member of the strata company receives 14 days’ notice of the terms of the proposed resolution.

  • There is a voting period of 28 days.

  • If the vote is taken at a meeting, lot owners who were not present in person or by proxy receive written notice of the outcome of the vote.

  • Any lot which did not vote at the meeting may vote by written notice before the voting period closes.

Ordinary Resolution

There are two methods of counting the votes for an ordinary resolution. The first way is the default: an ordinary resolution is decided on the number of votes that were cast. More than 50% of votes cast must be in favour for the resolution to pass.

Example: In a 20-lot scheme, 11 lot owners have turned up to the meeting (so a quorum is present and the meeting can go ahead). The vote is on altering the address of the strata company, so an ordinary resolution is required, as set out in section 30(3). Six lot owners are in favour of the resolution, and five are against it. The vote is carried by ordinary resolution and the address of the strata company is changed, as more than half of the 11 lot owners who were present voted for it. The second way of counting the votes for an ordinary resolution is by unit entitlements. When counted this way, more than 50% of the unit entitlements of lots in the scheme (for which votes are cast) must be in favour for the vote to pass.

 

The vote is only counted this way if a person entitled to vote demands it – and if they do, the vote

must be counted this way.

Example: A six-lot scheme has a total unit entitlement of ‘100’. Four lot owners have turned up to the meeting (so a quorum is present and the meeting can go ahead). The vote is on solar panels being installed on the common property, so an ordinary resolution is required, as set out in section 64. If added up, the unit entitlements held by the four lot owners who are at the meeting is ‘60’. Mrs Smith from lot three (who wants the solar panels) demands that the vote be counted on unit entitlements, rather than by the number of people present. Mrs Smith has a unit entitlement of 30. She has higher unit entitlements than others present at the meeting because her lot is much larger. The other three owners at the meeting each have a unit entitlement of 10. Mrs Smith and one other lot owner vote for the solar panels, so the votes in favour have a combined unit entitlement of 40. The two other owners present vote against it – they have a combined unit entitlement of 20. The vote is passed by ordinary resolution, and the solar panels will be installed. This is because the combined unit entitlements of those ‘for’ the motion was 40, compared to the 20 who were against it.

Note that if Mrs Smith had not demanded that the count be based on unit entitlements, the vote would have been counted by number of lots (the first method) and would not have passed. The first method would have resulted in two owners ‘for’, and two owners ‘against’, which would not achieve the requirement of more than 50% being in favour.

Resolutions passed at a meeting of the strata company are ordinary resolutions unless the Act requires otherwise (see section 133 of the Act).

If a proposed ordinary resolution is to be decided outside of a meeting, as allowed by section 120(3)(b), 14 days’ notice of the terms of the proposed resolution must be given to lot owner before voting opens.

Other types of resolutions

There are two other types of resolutions, which apply under special circumstances.

  • A resolution postponing the expiry day of the leasehold scheme, the votes in favour must be at least 75% of the number of lots in the scheme. Other criteria must also be met:

  • There must be leasehold by-laws which allow for the postponement.

  • 14 days’ notice must be given to all members of the strata company.

  • The vote must happen at least six months before the expiry day.

  • A resolution to terminate a strata titles scheme, which:

  • must be a unanimous resolution if the scheme has two to four lots.

  • for schemes of five or more lots, must have votes in favour of at least 80% of the total number of lots in the scheme. If this criteria is met, the termination resolution can go to the next step of being reviewed by SAT.

The process to terminate a scheme is quite complex, to ensure that all lot owners are treated fairly. Please refer to Part

12 of the Act for more information about this process.

Quorums at general meetings
 

Voting

Voting Period

Proxies

Voting in certain circumstances

No business can be transacted at a general meeting unless a quorum is present at the time when the meeting

proceeds to business.

Attendance by persons entitled to vote (either in person, or by proxy) in respect of 50% of the lots in the scheme constitutes a quorum for general meetings. If a quorum is not present 30 minutes after the time appointed for a meeting (other than a two lot scheme), the persons entitled to vote who are present at the meeting are taken to constitute a quorum for that meeting (see section 130 of the Act).

In a two-lot scheme, there is a quorum if all persons who are entitled to cast the vote attached to each lot are present.

Voting

See section 120 of the Act

The owner of each lot is entitled to one vote on a proposed resolution of the strata company. If both an owner and the person the owner appointed as their proxy are at a general meeting, only the owner may vote.

  • An owner is not entitled to cast the vote attached to the lot where the proposed resolution:

is an ordinary resolution or a special resolution, unless the owner has paid all contributions payable for their lot and any other money payable to the strata company under the Act

  • concerns a defect in a building/infrastructure within 10 years after completion of the scheme building/ infrastructure, if the owner is the scheme developer of a subdivision of land by the strata titles scheme where the building is constructed or modified. This provision also applies if the construction or modification was carried out by an associate of such person.

An owner is entitled to cast the vote attached to the lot on a resolution without dissent, unanimous resolution,

termination resolution, or resolution to postpone the expiry day of a leasehold scheme in accordance with leasehold by-laws, even if they owe money to the strata company. The Act makes it clear that proposed resolutions can be put to members of the strata company outside of a general meeting as well as at a general meeting. Votes at a general meeting may be cast by:

  • raising a hand or making a verbal statement at a meeting

  • giving a written statement to the chairperson

  • a method set out in the notice of the meeting (e.g. via email or in real time such as Skype or by teleconference).

The voting system (either electronic or by other means) must enable votes to be cast in a manner designed to protect the integrity of the voting system. If a vote is to be taken outside of a general meeting, the voting system must specify:

  • how the vote will be conducted and submitted

  • the closing date for submitting a vote

  • how owners will know their vote has been cast

  • how the results will be published.

Voting Period

The Act has provided clarity on the period allowed for voting on resolutions. A unanimous resolution, resolution without dissent, or special resolution has a voting period of 28 days. If the vote is being taken at a general meeting:

  • the voting period opens at the meeting

  • if for one or more lots there was no one present or in proxy at the meeting who could cast the vote for the

  • lot, written notice of the outcome of the vote at the meeting must be given to the owner of each such lot

and,

  • if the vote for a lot was not cast at the meeting the vote may be cast by written notice to the strata company before the voting period closes. The Act has clarified a person who demands an ordinary resolution be determined by unit entitlements must make the demand:

  • if the vote is being taken at a general meeting, verbally or in writing before the resolution is put to the vote;

and,

  • if the vote is being taken outside of a general meeting, when the vote is cast. If a proper demand is made, the votes must be counted by the number of unit entitlements.

Proxies

See section 124 of the Act

A proxy is a written statement that authorises a person other than the lot owner (the proxy holder) to cast the vote attached to the lot. Proxy voting allows a lot owner to use their vote through a third party. An owner should carefully consider whether they want to appoint a person as their proxy, and if so the type of proxy to be given.

A proxy vote may only be exercised where the proxy has been appointed in writing by an instrument. Subject to any limitations expressed in the instrument, the appointment of a proxy is for all general meetings and for all purposes, commonly known as an enduring proxy. However, the instrument may limit the appointment to:

  • a specified general meeting or to voting on a specified resolution

  • general meetings held, or votes taken, within a specified period

  • a specified purpose or any other specified way.

 

A proxy holder may be, but is not required to be, a member of the strata company. If both an owner (being an individual and sole owner of the lot) and the proxy holder are at a general meeting, only the owner may vote. Unless authorised by the instrument, the proxy holder may not vote on a resolution in relation to the provision of goods, amenity or services to the strata company if the proxy has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter. If the instrument does authorise the proxy holder to vote in the matter, it must specify whether the proxy holder is to vote in favour or against the resolution.

Voting in certain circumstances

The first mortgagee of a lot who has notified their interest in the lot to the strata company may cast the vote for the lot, in place of the owner if the owner is entitled to cast the vote for the lot. The owner may cast the vote for the lot if the first mortgagee does not do so.

An owner under the age of 18 is not eligible to cast the vote for the lot but the owner’s guardian may do so.

If an owner is unable to control their property for some reason the person authorised by law to control the person’s property may cast the vote.

Where there is more than one owner of a lot, the co-owners may only cast the vote for the lot through a jointly appointed proxy holder (who may be one of the co-owners).

© 2003-2019 by Abode Strata. Privacy Policy
The advice within is general and has been prepared without taking into account any specific or personal objectives, financial situation or needs.

Please also note this general advice was provided prior to the new strata title amendments were proclaimed and will be updated in due course.

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