12/03/2019 at 11:29 am #36285
We want to put an item on the Annual General Meeting agenda to take back the functions of Strata Committee Office Bearers from the Strata Manager. (Sydney block of 36 units.)
I’ve seen the contract, there is a year to run but it’s not working out here, almost nothing gets done, and a couple of like-minded owners and I want to try to be on a new committee and be more be active than the current committee and strata manager.
How simple can it be to write such a motion? Does it need to reference the Act and the contract? The contract doesn’t seem to specifically reference the actual Office Bearer titles and the Act, well… it’s all Greek to me and I’m Costa 🙂
12/03/2019 at 11:44 am #36288
I don’t think you need a general meeting resolution. The committee has a chair, treasurer and secretary. While the contract with a strata manager may include that the SM will exercise many of the functions of those office bearers, those office bearers have the final responsibility to see that those functions are being carried out properly. The SM is engaged to assist the executive committee in its functions, not the other way around. The committee has a function and responsibility to oversee the office bearers and satisfy themselves that the office bearers functions are being carried out properly.
So, if the committee decides that it wants certain of the office bearer functions to be undertaken by those office bearers rather than delegated to the SM, then it can so resolve. Our executive committee has traditionally been more hands-on than most and each new SM has had to learn that.
The SM has a professional duty to step in and advise if they think the committee is not acting as it should but ultimately the buck stops with the committee. If the SM thinks the committee is really going off the rails, the SM would be wise to put their advice in writing to make it clear they did what they could. Ultimately, the SM acts on the advice of the committee, so long as what they are being asked to do is legal. The committee can ask the SM to do any of the delegated functions that are mentioned in the management contract but the SM can’t demand to do a committee function if the committee wants to do that function itself.
To maintain a good professional relationship, I suggest that the committee should keep the SM informed so the SM can satisfy themselves that those functions the committee has taken back to itself are being carried out.
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Sir Humphrey.
12/03/2019 at 10:48 pm #36302
This is harder to do when you aren’t on the committee and, in fact, trying to implement it before you are on the committee may be one way of making sure you never get elected.
Proposing a resolution at a general meeting that the office-bearers have to resume their duties from the strata manager is not going to win you many friends.
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Jimmy-T.
13/03/2019 at 7:25 pm #36366
Thanks Sir Humphrey and Jimmy-T.
Jimmy-T I appreciate your thoughts very much but I am particularly interested in the mechanics of it or legalities. Can’t seem to find out what’s the go. I won’t bore you with how screwed up this strata is 🙂
14/03/2019 at 12:21 am #36373
OK, the mechanics in NSW are thus:
The owners corporation elects the committee at the AGM and the committee then elects the office-bearers. At any point in the year until the next AGM the members of the strata committee can declare an office “vacant” and elect someone else to it. That person remains on the committee, however. It requires a special resolution by owners at a general meeting (75 per cent of people voting) to remove a committee member mid-term.
Drilling deeper, at the AGM, the process is
- The chairman calls for nominations for the committee
- The owners vote on how many people they want on the committee: maximum nine, minimum 1.
- If there are more nominations than agreed numbers on the committee, an election is held.
- The election is conducted by people writing the names of the candidates they want, up to the maximum, on a BLANK piece of paper.
- Unit entitlements count as every election is effectively a poll vote (so it’s good to have friends, literally, in high places).
- Any election that doesn’t follow the above process is invalid.
By the way, co-owners can’t self-nominate (your co-owner has to nominate you) and you can’t be nominated by someone who is standing for election themselves. More than one person from the same lot can’t be on the committee and you don’t have to be an owner to serve on the committee so long as you are nominated by one. There are other restrictions too arcane to go into here.
- This reply was modified 6 days, 1 hour ago by Jimmy-T.
13/03/2019 at 7:27 pm #36368
Perhaps the way forward is to nominate for the committee and then work from within. In order to get elected to the committee, perhaps disclose your intentions to those of your neighbours that you trust and feel to be sympathetic to your concerns.
14/03/2019 at 12:09 pm #36376
We found this in our contract with the Strata Manager which one of us just unearthed. It’s what I was thinking of and wondering how to reverse it or indeed if it needs reversing if a new Strata Committee was simply on-the-ball and more hands on.
APPOINTMENT OF STRATA MANAGER Item 3.1.b.II. The Owners Corporation delegate to the agent all the functions of its chairperson, treasurer, secretary and Strata Committee, necessary to enable the agent to carry out the agreed services and additional services as defined in the written agency agreement… BLAH BLAH BLAH.
14/03/2019 at 12:19 pm #36378
Even with that explicit delegation to the strata manager and even with that being a decision of the OC at a general meeting rather than a committee decision and OC decisions are superior to committee decisions, the Act still makes the chair, treasurer and secretary responsible for their functions as set out in the Act. The Act is superior to decisions of the OC or the committee. So, I would contend, that the office bearers have obligations derived from the Act which over-ride the delegation made by the general meeting decision to enter into the contract with the managing agent.
The office bearers must ensure that the delegated functions are occurring properly by either insisting that the manager does the job and doing it themselves if that is unsuccessful. If the manager is demonstrably failing to do the job they were contracted to do then you could give them notice.
If I were on the committee, I would be trying to improve relations with the manager while being very firm about what you expect but also pragmatically just doing some things ourselves as a committee because that gets it done and done right.
14/03/2019 at 6:04 pm #3639354 Functions of officers and strata committee may be given to strata managing agent
(1) The instrument of appointment of a strata managing agent may provide that the strata managing agent has and may exercise all the functions of the chairperson, secretary, treasurer or strata committee of an owners corporation or the functions of those officers or the strata committee specified in the instrument.
(2) However, the chairperson, secretary, treasurer and strata committee of an owners corporation may continue to exercise all or any of the functions that the strata managing agent is authorised to exercise.
14/03/2019 at 9:48 pm #36394
As usual, NSW states explicitly what the ACT has to work out by applying logic to the more general principles.
15/03/2019 at 2:55 pm #36405
So the path forward is clear thank you very much. Get a couple of like-minder owners on the committee and be proactive. Whether or not the part of the By-Law is gotten rid of or not. But probably not needed.
Did JimmyT once say something like ‘You’re only as good as your Strata Committee’? Whatever it said, it was a good, memorable quote.
15/03/2019 at 2:57 pm #36409
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