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  • #51952
    HAL
    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.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #55254
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    Re seconding. I accept that may not be needed in most places. Where I live, our first general meeting resolved that the conduct of all of the OC’s meetings shall be in accordance with one of the standard texts on meeting procedure, which included the business of seconding.

    #55249
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Where are you and which state’s strata laws are you referring to?

    You call yourself “WA”, you refer to the BCCM (which is Queensland –  that’s certainly where Hynes Legal are based) and you refer to the strata “council” which is a West Australian term.

    Every state has its own strata laws and you can’t assume one state’s pertain in any others.

    FYI:  Sir Humphrey is based in the ACT.  So where are you?

    #55239
    WA
    Flatchatter

    Not only do motions not need to be seconded, neither the chair nor the council have the authority which Sir Humphrey implies exists.

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

    I believe the above is entirely incorrect

    General meetings

    The agenda includes every motion that is to be considered at the meeting. The motions are on that agenda because they have been proposed in accordance with the Act. The owner put it in before the required submission date, the committee proposed it at any stage, or they are statutory motions that must go on the agenda every time (as example, confirmation of the minutes of the last meeting).

    There is no reason for someone to propose it and second it at the meeting itself.  There is nothing under either BCCM Act or any Module that requires a seconder. If that was required, it would mean that the single owner voicing opposition to a particular position without the support of any other owner could not be heard, and that is not what the BCCM Act is about.

    https://hyneslegal.com.au/news/seconding-motions-is-that-really-necessary/

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by .
    #52017
    scotlandx
    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 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-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 9 months ago by .
    #51956
    Sir 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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