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Can a tenant be elected to the committee ahead of an owner?

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20/12/2018 - 4:19 pm
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We had our AGM on Tuesday. Seven owners and one tenant nominated themselves to be on the committee.

Some owners did not want 8 members because it was an even number. It had to be nine or seven. Therefore the strata manager said the owners had to vote one nominee out.

The strata manager had the owners come to him in private to vote one member out. The member who was voted out was on the committee for six years. She owns three units in the strata, lives in one and rents the other two.

She was the most active of the SC members and will be the only one who will reply back to the building manager when there were issues. Naturally the owners at the meeting was not aware of this.

From my understanding the tenant cannot vote on motions unless he has an authorised vote?

The strata manager said that the tenant is not an Tenant Representative but a Member of the SC because he was voted in, therefore he can vote without a proxy vote.

Is the strata manager correct in saying the tenant is not a Tenant Representative but an SC member who acts for the owners?

It does not make sense because the tenant is not financial and has no finance interest in the building because he does not pay levies which are very high.

The strata manager was surprised the owner was voted out and the tenant voted in. He knows she was the most active on the committee.

I am not happy a tenant was voted in over the preference of an proactive owner who was voted out. She was voted out because the tenant nominated himself which made the nominees eight.

If he had not nominated himself there would have been 7 nominates and all the owners who nominated themselves would have been now on the committee.

Anyway can the tenant vote without an proxy vote? And is he a SC member and not a tenant representative because he was voted in?

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20/12/2018 - 4:37 pm
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With very few exceptions, anyone can be elected to the committee – owner, tenant or even non-resident, non-owner – provided they are nominated by a ‘financial’ owner who is not running for office themselves (or is a sole owner who self-nominates).

In NSW a tenant could be nominated by an owner and be elected ahead of an owner who doesn’t have the support of the majority of owners.

However, if this is in NSW, there are several discrepancies with this process as you describe it.

Firstly, tenants may not nominate themselves – they have to be nominated by an owner who is not standing for election.

Secondly, there is a very specific procedure for the committee elections which has not been followed in this case.  

Have a look at sections 9 and 10 of the Strata Regulations and Sections 29-32 of the strata Act

If the strata manager has allowed a tenant to nominate themselves, and then allowed a secret, unsupervised ballot that doesn’t follow the Regulations, they really need to go back to Strata Manager School.

If what you say is correct in every detail, the strata manager should declare the election of the tenant invalid and should replace them with the ousted owner as the next valid nominee.

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