4.13 Properly run meetings | Owners Corporation Network

4.13 Properly run meetings

If your strata manager attends your executive committee meetings then they should be a good guide of how to run them. You will need;

  1. an agenda,
  2. a quorum
  3. a chair  to raise the agenda items and ask for a vote if appropriate, and
  4. minutes to be written.
Note that executive committees often buy a take-away meal for the members while they meet and charge it to the scheme - something reasonable given that the positions are voluntary. This is something that should be clearly disclosed at the annual general meeting.

There are many ways that these aspects can be accomplished - from extremely formal and prescribed to very informal and flexible. Some examples of this discretion include:

  • Just because one executive committee does not let owners sit at the discussion table during executive committee meetings does not mean another executive committee can’t.
  • Just because one executive committee sends out an agenda with the detailed, specific resolutions to be voted on does not mean another executive committee has to.
  • Just because one executive committee invites the building manager to attend the whole meeting does not mean another executive committee has to.
  • Just because one executive committee meeting takes a formal vote for each and every resolution and records the names and vote of each member does not mean you have to.

This is ‘your’ building and as long as you meet the requirements of the relevant act you can run executive committee meetings pretty much how you want. 

The quorum for an executive committee meeting is at least half of the members. A sensible option to avoid quorum issues is to appoint ‘alternatives’ for each committee member at the first or second executive meeting. (see SSMA Schedule 3, Part 1, 3: Acting members of the executive committee). This person can be an existing member of the executive committee or anyone else nominated by that executive member. However, the nomination must be accepted by the other members. Once accepted the nominated alternative will be valid for subsequent meetings where the nominee can count as part of the quorum. This is a useful tool for avoiding having meetings adjourned for lack of a quorum.

An important note is the all committee members are equal in their vote. The chair does not get a deciding vote.

NSW Office of Fair Trading's executive committee of the owners corporation fact sheet

  • The NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 does not specify how often an executive committee must meet.
  • However, an executive committee meeting may be requested by at least 1/3 of the executive committee members or by a previous resolution of the executive committee itself.
  • The secretary must put a notice about the meeting (including the agenda) on the scheme's noticeboard(s) at least 72 hours before the meeting is scheduled to be held with a copy going to each committee member.
  • The notice must state when and where the meeting is to be held and include an agenda detailed enough to inform owners as to what's proposed to be discussed and resolved by the committee.
  • Minutes of any executive committee meetings held must be placed on the noticeboard(s) within 7 days of the meeting and remain there for at least 14 days.
  • NOTE: If there's no scheme noticeboard, then the notice, agenda and minutes must be SENT to all owners. Depending on the by-laws of the scheme, these documents can be either e-mailed or mailed or be sent using a combination of both methods. Make sure to check your by-laws to see what method can be used.
  • A quorum at an executive committee is when at least HALF of the executive committee members attend except in the case of 2-lot schemes where BOTH lot owners must attend
  • Each member has ONE vote but the chairperson does not have a casting vote
  • If a member is unable to attend a meeting they may appoint another owner or company nominee to vote for them at the executive committee meeting, whether or not they are a member of the executive committee already. However, this must be approved by the executive committee
  • Any resolution approved by a majority of members is valid even though no meeting was held
  • All decisions on any motions are made by a simple majority vote
  • Any decision of the executive committee is considered a decision of the owners corporation except for restricted matters such as raising levies. In the event of a dispute between the owners corporation and the executive committee, the decision of the owners corporation prevails
  • Owners may attend executive committee meeting's but they cannot speak at the meeting unless the executive committee agrees by a simple majority vote
  • Owners holding at least 1/3 of the total unit entitlement may object to a motion on the agenda. Written notice of this objection must be received by the secretary before the motion is voted upon by the committee
  • Meetings may be adjourned if a motion is passed at the meeting for the adjournment
  • Notice of any adjournments must be placed on the scheme's noticeboard(s) or sent to all lot owners if a noticeboard does not exist.

 

Relevant NSW Legislation: Strata Schemes Management Act (1996)

Schedule 3, Part 2, 6 Notice of executive committee meetings

Schedule 3, Part 2, 9: Quorum for executive committee meetings

Schedule 3, Part 2, 8 Chairperson to preside at meetings

Schedule 3, Part 2, 12 Records and minutes to be kept

Pages 22 and 23 of the ‘Strata living’ booklet [July 2011, FT045, NSW Office of Fair Trading] provide an overview of the protocols of executive committee meetings.

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