Strata Committee resignations | Strata Committees | Flat Chat Forum: Your Questions Answered




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Strata Committee resignations
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Mezzo1959
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19/06/2017 - 4:59 pm
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At our last AGM 6 Strata committee members stood. The Chairman resigned 2 meetings ago as he sold his unit. An ex committee member came on as replacement Chairman. He has now resigned as he is also selling. Over the weekend 2 more members resigned. There are now 3 of us left. What is the protocol now? We can possibly get a new owner onto the committee, but unfortunately, other owners just aren't interested. We have requested this info from our Strata Manager but have not had a reply as yet. Can we ask the Strata Manger to be acting Chairman at our next meeting?

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JimmyT
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19/06/2017 - 5:29 pm
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Why can't one of the remaining three be chairman?

In any case you can ask your strata manager to act in any or all of the office-bearer roles ... but they will quite rightly charge you fro the privilege.

Why don't you ask one of your tenants if they want to come on (although you will have to get a non-member owner to nominate them)?

Next AGM, reduce the numbers on the committee to 5 or 3.

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Sir Humphrey
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19/06/2017 - 6:17 pm
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If you were in the ACT, I'd point out:

1) an EC can have three members.

2) remaining members of the committee can appoint another member of the OC to fill a casual vacancy (but not obliged to do so). 

3) While it is usual for the positions of secretary, chair and treasurer to be held by different members of the committee, that is not required. One person could be any two or all three. The committee elects those position holders.

People in other states would need to check things are the same where you are. 

So, with or without the 4th person who might be interested, I don't see why the remaining members of the committee could not hold the fort and instruct the strata manager as required until the next AGM. 

BTW. Why did the last two resign, the ones who had not sold? Were they not getting on with the three who stayed or two or perhaps one of those who stayed? If you have one person who is pain, the other two should stay, if only to keep them from doing too much harm.

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JimmyT
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19/06/2017 - 6:54 pm
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The wording in the NSW act is that the remaining committee members "may" appoint someone to fill the vacancies.  I have a feeling it used to say "must".

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scotlandx
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22/06/2017 - 2:13 pm
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The main issue is the quorum, i.e. whether the Committee can still make decisions where it only has 3 members.

This is because the Act (Schedule 2) provides that the quorum is determined by reference to the number of members determined by the OC at its last meeting.

In this case, the number determined was 6, the required quorum is half, therefore you are ok provided all of the remaining three members attend any meeting.  If you have less than 3 at any meeting, then there is no quorum.

The Strata Manager can't be a member of the Committee, and even if he/she attended and acted as Chairman (which they can do) that would make no difference to the quorum.

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JimmyT
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22/06/2017 - 2:27 pm
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scotlandx said
The Strata Manager can't be a member of the Committee, and even if he/she attended and acted as Chairman (which they can do) that would make no difference to the quorum.  

Hey, Scottie, welcome back.  Are you sure about that.  I think I have made the same mistake myself before.  Rental agents and building managers (caretakers) who aren't owners can't be but I think strata managers can. Could be wrong, though.

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scotlandx
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23/06/2017 - 12:49 pm
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On a strict technical reading of the Act, yes they can be a member of the Strata Committee, because an owner can nominate anyone to be a member of the Committee.

But that would be really bad governance.  The strata manager is accountable to the Committee, so not sure how that works if they are an actual member of the Committee.  

Not that bad governance seems to bother a lot of people...

In this case the SM isn't a Committee member so it doesn't make any difference.

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JimmyT
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23/06/2017 - 4:07 pm
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I agree.  It's not something I would recommend but there are cases, especially where committees are brand new or recovering from years of proxy harvesting, where it can help to get past the initial stages

That said, a strata manager can attend meetings and offer advice without having to be a member of the committee.

However, I would advise anyone who's been told that the strata manager being on the committee is standard practice, to run a mile ... and get another SM. 

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scotlandx
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23/06/2017 - 4:23 pm
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That's the thing, the Strata Manager can attend Committee meetings anyway, ours attends most of ours as a matter of course (mainly because the Chair doesn't know how to be a Chair).

Taking that into account I would strongly suggest that a SM never be a member.  If things are really bad and a statutory manager is appointed, then they are running the show anyway.

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supersleuth
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24/06/2017 - 11:47 pm
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Hi

Just in relation to this thread... I wish to place a motion on our upcoming AGM for the removal of our strata committee.  I understand that this needs to be done by a special resolution.  Anyone's assistance on wording ie sections of the Act to quote, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks...

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JimmyT
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25/06/2017 - 11:55 am
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supersleuth said
I wish to place a motion on our upcoming AGM for the removal of our strata committee.  I understand that this needs to be done by a special resolution. 

You don't need a special resolution at an AGM.  The strata committee's term ends at the AGM and a new one has to be elected.

Now, we know that in practice this often means the same people stand year after year and use their privileged access to internal communications to make sure no one else gets a look-in.

But there will be a motion on the agenda to decide the number of seats on the committee and another calling for nominations.

What you need to do is make sure that you have enough support before the meeting to make sure you and your alternatives get elected.

You should also be prepared to challenge all other nominations if you believe they are not valid, for instance, if the people nominating them are not up to date with their levies, or if co-owners are self-nominating, or if one owner is nominating more than one person.

Some quiet preparation should catch the incumbents on the wrong foot but you need to read up on the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (just Google it) and be prepared to quote chapter and verse if need be.

The good news is that because you don't need a special resolution, just a simple majority will get you over the line.

However, if you want to raise the competence of the committee through a motion of at the AGM, keep it fact-based and not about personalities.  Propose a "please explain" motion (e.g. Why are we paying so much for cleaning when the lobbies are filthy? or Review the contracts with our cleaners to ensure we get better service and improved value for money).

That will allow you to open up all the issues that have led you to wanting to sack your executive committee.

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supersleuth
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25/06/2017 - 6:56 pm
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Thanks Jimmy T... 

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