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Parking spaces and proxy votes
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JonH
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08/07/2018 - 3:01 pm
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I have a question in relation to the number of proxy’s one person is allowed based on 5% of the number of lots. In our purchase contract the SP is noted as having a total of 100 lots.  This includes the garages that are still the same SP but are noted as a separate lot.  However on the web site of the Strata Manager it states 50 lots which would exclude the garages?  Is the SM correct or is our purchase contract correct? How would I find out the correct number of lots?    

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kaindub
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08/07/2018 - 7:19 pm
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Jonh

the place to find the number of lots is the Strata plan. You should have a copy of it attached to your purchase contract. Failing that, you can get a copy of the Strata plan fromLPI for a few dollars online.

older strata often had a separate lot for the living and the garage spaces. If all the lots have one living and one garage lot, it does not affect the votes. In a show of hands vote, every owner gets either one or two votes. As long as owners are considered consistently, the outcome of the vote is the same. 

The same applies in a poll vote.

and the concept of a proxy vote is not an issue. Every owner has the right to two votes as they own two lots. A proxy vote is only a proxy vote when an owner gives their vote to someone who represents them , but is not the owner.

in terms of the 5% rule, it is based on the number of unit entitlements. So the 5% is neither 2 proxies or 5 proxies, but 5% of the unit entitlements. {this is not the case – see below} 

in order to defeat the proxy harvesters always ask for a poll vote. Any votes they hold over 5% of the unit entitlements don’t count

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JimmyT
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08/07/2018 - 11:06 pm
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kaindub said
In terms of the 5% rule, it is based on the number of unit entitlements. So the 5% is neither 2 proxies or 5 proxies, but 5% of the unit entitlements.

Not by my understanding of the Act and Regulations. Section 26 (7) of Schedule 1 of the NSW strata Act refers only to the number of lots, not to the unit entitlements (see below).  If you can find something that refers to unit entitlements and proxy votes, please pass it on.

What this effectively means is that in a scheme of 1-39 lots, you can carry one proxy vote (because 5% of 39 is 1.95 and you can’t have a fraction of a person).

With 40 to 59 lots, you can have two proxies; 60 to 79 you can have three etc etc.

However, you are correct in saying that the voting power of the proxies becomes critical in any poll vote.

Getting back to the question of car spaces, the issue is whether or not the car spaces have separate lot numbers and, as a result, get separate or separately calculated levies bills.

I am guessing the strata manager on their website is confusing lots with apartments because they want to give people a more accurate idea of the size of the building but don’t want to exclude, for instance, commercial lots.

Anyway, as Kaindub said, it’s what’s on the strata plan that’s significant, not what’s on the SM’s website, and it sounds like your car spaces are separate lots which should be counted as such.

I have encountered SMs who try to tell you that car spaces are “non-voting” lots but I can’t see any reference to non-voting lots in the Act. 

I have two adjacent car spaces in my unit block, one is part of my lot (even though it’s 15 floors below me) but the other is a separate lot for which I pay a small amount of additional levies.

That separate lot gives me an extra vote in a show of hands at an AGM and slightly enhanced voting power in a poll vote.

One other question: can I, as the owner of two lots, carry additional proxies for the second lot, even though it’s only a car space? I had this discussion with Amanda Farmer of yourstrataproperty.com.au the other day and we agree that separate lots carry separate rights.

And likewise, as the effective owner of two lots, can I give both of my proxies to a proxy holder who’s reached their “cap”?  The jury’s still out on that but I think the answer would be no I can’t – if they are separate lots then they should both be counted to the cap. 

(7) Limit on number of proxies that may be held

The total number of proxies that may be held by a person (other than proxies held by the person as the co-owner of a lot) voting on a resolution are as follows:

(a) if the strata scheme has 20 lots or less, one,

b) if the strata scheme has more than 20 lots, a number that is equal to not more than 5% of the total number of lots.

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scotlandx
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08/07/2018 - 11:22 pm
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Can JonH advise – what is the by-law, i.e. does it benefit a particular lot or lots?

Has the by-law actually been approved, if so when, and has it been registered?

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kaindub
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09/07/2018 - 5:35 pm
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Jimmy

I stand corrected in relation to the proxy votes

Robert

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JonH
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24/07/2018 - 2:08 pm
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Hi all

Thanks for your thoughts and good information.  Very helpful.  To Scotlandx the original by-law was defeated on a very close count however an amended by-law, that was defeated on the first count, was subsequently passed, as having no by-law was worse that having the amended by-law.  It turned out to be a win for common-sense and for the building.  

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