Question: Does the Strata Manager circulate an EGM notice and voting papers without consulting with the Committee, or is the SC meant to vote on what is included in the EGM agenda?
I have a question about who determines what is included in an EGM agenda?
Can the Strata Manager simply circulate an EGM notice and voting papers without consulting with the entire Strata Committee, or is the SC meant to vote on what is included in the EGM agenda?
Answer: Instead of convening a meeting specifically for the requirement, you may place the motion on an agenda for the next general meeting.
Both the delegated secretary (Strata Manager is usually delegated this function) and the elected secretary of the Owners Corporation have the same functions as set out below:
The functions of a secretary of an owners corporation include the following:
- to prepare and distribute minutes of meetings of the owners corporation and submit a motion for confirmation of the minutes of any meeting of the owners corporation at the next such meeting,
- to give on behalf of the owners corporation and the strata committee of the owners corporation notices required to be given under this Act,
- to maintain the strata roll,
- to enable the inspection of documents on behalf of the owners corporation in accordance with this Act,
- to answer communications addressed to the owners corporation,
- to convene meetings of the strata committee and (apart from its first annual general meeting) of the owners corporation,
- to attend to matters of an administrative or secretarial nature in connection with the exercise of functions by the owners corporation or the strata committee of the owners corporation,
- any other functions conferred on the secretary under any other Act or law.
In practice, the strata manager and secretary/strata committee would work collaboratively to ensure that all requisite motions were included in an agenda. While it would not strictly be unlawful for the strata manager to unilaterally issue an agenda, such practice could fall foul of the principles of agency law ie the principal owners corporation directs what the agent does on its behalf (subject to the strata management agency agreement and any delegated functions).
Question: What are the protocol and procedures for dealing with requests from a Lot owner for an EGM and a motion on the agenda?
Our question is about protocol and procedures for dealing with requests from a Lot owner for an EGM and a motion on the agenda?
What discussion does the Strata Committee have when responding to a General Meeting and request for a motion on the agenda. Can the Strata Committee:
- Disregard a motion for any justifiable reason ie it’s out of order, and not convene a General Meeting?
- Determine if the motion is either trivial or unworthy of calling a formal meeting of the owners corporation?
- Determine that the motion would not be in the interest of the owners corporation?
- Choose to have a virtual meeting with electronic voting in preference to a physical meeting of lot owners?
- Demand a fair and reasonable explanation of any motion from its proposer when considered (by the Strata Committee) not to conform with best practice for maximum understanding, clarity and transparency? (i.e. explanatory notes considered as either ambiguous, biased or not provide the owners corporation with a fair and transparent explanation of the motion’s intent or motives).
- To ensure balanced consideration, can the Strata Committee include within the General Meeting agenda a documented response to the motion to provide the owners corporation with an alternative explanation?
- We note that (in Section 19 Other general meetings) response to any general meeting request should see that the meeting is scheduled within 14 days of the request. Are there any accepted protocols to extend this 14 day period following a GM request without any motion?
- As a GM Agenda (including motions & explanatory notes), needs to be published (for the benefit of the owners corporation), in advance of the GM’s date, can the Strata Committee determine the official request date to be when a valid motion (and explanatory notes) are received? Alternatively, can the Strata Committee postpone a GM if motions are not forthcoming in good time to distribute to the owners corporation in advance to the meeting?
- Can the Strata Committee defer any motion to the owners corporation’s until the next AGM if the AGM is scheduled to take place within a given period? If so, what deferral period is reasonable?
Answer: Instead of convening a meeting specifically for the requirement, you may place the motion on an agenda for the next general meeting
- No. Schedule 1 Clause 4 (3) requires the Secretary to give effect to the requirement.
- Again, you must give effect to the requirement, however, instead of convening a meeting specifically for the requirement, you may place the motion on an agenda for the next general meeting.
- You must give effect to the requirement. The owners corporation, or rather the Chairperson would determine such matters at the general meeting.
- The strata committee or owners corporation must resolve to do so first and comply with the other requirements of the legislation and regulation.
- It is not really the strata committee’s role to make such demands, but rather the Chairperson’s at the meeting.
- There is no requirement to do so, so we consider any discussions should take place at the meeting.
- No. You must comply with the timeframe specified.
- Again, the legislative timeframe must be observed.
- The intention of a qualified request is to compel the secretary to convene a general meeting. So, no the Strata Committee may not defer.
Question: I have to write a motion for our upcoming general meeting. I was wondering if I could get a sample motion as I have never written a motion before.
I have to write a motion for our upcoming general meeting. I was wondering if I could get a sample motion as I have never written a motion before.
THAT The Owners – Strata Plan No. XXXX *RESOLVE/*SPECIALLY RESOLVE to
*Delete which does not apply
A motion must be worded in such a way that a decision can be made. In other words, it must be worded so that when voting on it, you can vote yes or no to it.
The Owners – Strata Plan No XXXX SPECIALLY RESOLVE pursuant to Section 106 (3) of the Strata Schemes Management Act, 2015 (NSW) to determine by special resolution that:
- it is inappropriate to maintain, renew, replace or repair air-conditioning units installed within the Lots at the scheme; and
- its decision will not affect the safety of any building, structure or common property in the strata scheme or detract from the appearance of any property in the strata scheme.
Question: Do you need to include explanatory notes for every motion on an agenda?
Answer: No. You do not need to include explanatory notes for each and every motion on an agenda.
The answer to this question is very simple – No. You do not need to include explanatory notes for each and every motion on an agenda. The only legal requirement to provide explanatory notes arises from Section 4 of Schedule 1 of the Strata Schemes Management Act, 2015 (NSW) (“SSMA”) in relation to meeting procedures of an owners corporation and the making of a “requirement” (formerly known as “requisitions” or “requisitioned motions”).
A requirement is a motion in writing given to the secretary of the owners corporation by an owner (whether or not financial) or other person entitled to vote at a general meeting of the owners corporation for consideration at the next general meeting of the owners corporation. The secretary has a positive duty to include a compliant requirement in the notice for the next general meeting of the owners corporation.
Section 4 (2) (c) of Schedule 1 states that a “requirement” must include “an explanation of the motion of not more than 300 words in length”. In this context, the absence of an explanatory note would invalidate the requirement. This is not, however, the case for any other motions.
There is no mandatory requirement to include explanatory notes for any other motions to be submitted or included for consideration by an owners corporation or strata committee.
Despite the fact that explanatory notes are not compulsory, they can be very useful for laypersons or those who do not have a thorough working knowledge of the current or previous strata legislation. Well-drafted explanatory notes elucidate or clarify and succinctly summarise the intent of a motion and should, therefore, be used wherever possible. We at Premium Strata consider the systematic use of explanatory notes to constitute best practice for maximum understanding, clarity and transparency.
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Please note that this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice.