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  • #51952
    AvatarHAL
    Flatchatter

    Our strata property is in Sydney.
    One owner dislikes the style of windows installed by the development builder. Three times now he has requested that the strata manager include a motion in three meeting agendas to change the style of the windows. There is nothing structurally wrong with the windows, he just dislikes the style.

    The motion was defeated at two meetings and now the same owner has requested the motion again. He has worded the three motions slightly different but what he is asking for is the same.

    We cannot find anything in the Act and Regulations preventing  the same defeated motion from being re-submitted continually. We think there should be something to prevent vexatious motions. We have been told about the Vexatious Litigants Act 2008 but don’t know whether it applies only to court cases or whether it can be used to stop an owner from re-submitting motions that have already been defeated by an owners corporation.

    Can NCAT ban an owner harassing other owners in this way? We find the fact that he thinks he can wear us down abusive.

    Thank you for any help you can provide.

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  • #52017
    scotlandxscotlandx
    Strataguru

    Yes the OP doesn’t say whether it is a Committee or general meeting – regardless, a Committee doesn’t have the power to make a decision like that.

    The Vexatious Litigants Act doesn’t apply here. As for requiring a seconder for a motion, that won’t fly. An owner is entitled to put a motion forward, there is no requirement in the Act for a seconder, and nor should there be. The Chair doesn’t decide what goes on the agenda – bear in mind that the agenda for a general meeting must be sent to owners a certain amount of time before the meeting.

    A wholesale change of the style of windows would require a special resolution of the owners at a general meeting as a change to the common property. Perhaps the pesky owner needs to be told that. In addition I would be telling him that he could put the motion up, provided he includes a full scope of the proposal, including the design of the proposed windows, the budget and how he proposes to pay for it.

    You do have the right not to include a motion in an agenda that is not complete, so unless it meets those criteria, don’t include it.

    #51961
    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    I assumed the poster was talking about an owner wanting their motion on the agenda for a general meeting, not a committee meeting.

    #51959
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Normal meeting procedure includes that a motion proposed by one person should be seconded by another member.

    I’m not sure that seconding applies in NSW strata committee or general meetings (although I have seen it done).

    I’m thinking about Schedule 2 (14) of the Act which says this:

    Only person who may vote can move motion

    A person is not entitled to move a motion unless the person is entitled to vote on the motion.

    So, unless the windows obsessive is on the committee, it’s really quite simple.  The chair asks anyone on the committee if they want to move the motion.  They are greeted with deafening silence and then declares the motion defunct and moves on.

    If the determined owner is on the committee, take a look at  Section 19 (a) of Schedule 1 of the Act (General meeting procedures) and section 15 of Schedule 2 of the Act  (Strata Committee meeting procedures) .

    Under these provisions, the chair can declare a motion incompetent – i.e. not to be discussed or voted on – if its approval would breach a by-law of the scheme.

    The owners corp could pass a by-law instructing the committee not to consider any motion that is substantially similar to two previously rejected motions proposed in the same strata year (between AGMs).

    Thus the chair could reject the motion out of hand because a third or subsequent consideration of the motion would be in breach of the by-laws.

    Even better, adopt (via a by-law), a set of standing orders that would include limits on the number times the same issue could be discussed.  Again, the chair could declare any such motion incompetent because it would be in breach of the “enabling” by-law.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 9 hours ago by .
    #51956
    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    Normal meeting procedure includes that a motion proposed by one person should be seconded by another member. If a person proposes a motion and nobody seconds it, the chair is entitled to decline to put the motion up for a debate and a vote and to move on with the meeting agenda.

    The point of seconding is to establish that at least one other person wants the motion to be put to the meeting. A seconder is usually someone who supports the motion this is not required. A seconder is just someone who believes the matter should be debated and voted on. This could be because the seconder thinks the issue should be put to a meeting to demonstrate its lack of support.

    If the serial motion proposer has no seconder, the chair is entitled to refuse to put the matter on the agenda for the meeting.

    BTW. Some time can be saved at meetings by dispensing with proposers and seconders for motions put on the agenda by the committee. If the committee has decided to put those motions on the agenda, it is obvious that at least two people supported the motion being put to the meeting.

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