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You can’t expect people to play by the rules if they don’t know what the rules are.
So we have devised a code of conduct for anyone that might want to adopt some rules for their own committees.
Before we go any further, you should know that these are not prescriptive. They are a starting point to help you devise your own rules to help the smooth running of your strata committee.
And there are a couple of other things you should know.
Firstly, for these to have any real power, they should be adopted as a by-law.
Having said that, if an owner is legitimately elected to the committee, you can’t demand that they sign the code of conduct as a condition of their membership.
However, you could ask all the candidates at your next AGM if they will sign it before they are elected and give them a chance to explain why they wouldn’t if they say no.
Finally, these are my thoughts (actually I borrowed a lot of the format from an American home owners association website) and you should feel free to add or remove anything that will work better for your strata scheme.
Ironically, the schemes that are having the most trouble with rogue committee members and therefor most need a code of conduct, are the ones that will find it hardest to have accepted.
So even if your scheme works like clockwork now, and everybody gets on like a house on fire, this may be the time to consider a code of conduct for the future.
I have posted a set of Standing Orders related to the running of meetings HERE. Meanwhile, please read these and post your comments and suggestions in the Forum.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR STRATA COMMITTEE OF STRATA PLAN [……..]
I agree to serve on the strata committee for Strata Plan[scheme number here] and to be guided by the following principles:
- To attend and participate in all meetings to the best of my ability to be present.
- To respect the agreed Standing Orders at all meetings and to participate in a business-like manner.
- To accept the board’s majority decisions, even if I disagree.
- To promote the goals and interests of the strata scheme in a constructive manner. To avoid creating unnecessary conflict among homeowners.
- To disclose to the board any financial conflicts of interests.
- To conduct myself in a civilised and polite manner regardless of how heated discussions become.
- To refrain from personal attacks on other committee members, owners or tenants and to avoid language that is racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory.
- To do my best to ensure that the Association’s finances are well managed.
- To uniformly enforce, without fear or favour, the by-laws of the strata scheme and the laws and regulations enshrined in the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and Strata Schemes Regulations Act 2016.
- To do my best to acquaint myself with the fundamental strata rules and regulations enshrined in the above by-laws and legislation.
- To place the best interests of the strata scheme above my personal interests; the interests of a particular homeowner; or the interests of a faction of homeowners.
- To resign from the strata committee if I find I can no longer maintain this agreement to serve.
A split has formed in our SC lately, which has brought me back to this topic…
In our case, the split was caused when new members of the committee decided to adopt a view expressed by the loudest and most ignorant member of the group – the newer members not willing to ‘educate’ themselves by reading legislation or by-laws.
I understand, one cannot force a committee member to sign an agreement to ‘educate’ themselves, but are there other ideas out there that I could perhaps add to this code of conduct with a view to having it adopted as a by-law?
We are a large scheme in NSW.
The ACT strata legislation includes a code of conduct for committee members as one of the schedules at the end of the Act http://www.legislation.act.gov…..a/2011-41/. While it is not applicable in the NSW, it puts into words the sorts of principles that you would expect anywhere. Might be helpful.
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