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  • #38224
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    Bluey
    Flatchatter

    There is some concern in our building that the Strata Committee are not consulting with the owners enough.

    Has anyone used the following mandatory AGM motion to require the Strata Committee to call General Meetings for any matters?

    “That the Owners Corporation resolves in accordance with Clauses 6(a) and 9(i), Schedule 1 of the Act, there is no matter or type of matter to be determined only by the Owners Corporation in general meeting, other than those required by the Act.”

    #38226
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    You could have a resolution like that. It seems to be intended to give assurance to a committee that they can do anything on behalf of the OC, except for things that the Act explicitly says must go to a general meeting.

    Alternatively, you could resolve to direct the committee that certain specified sorts of decisions must come to a general meeting, even if that is not required by the Act. What might be reasonable for the whole OC to decide rather than the committee could vary from one place to another.

    #38229
    Avatar
    Bluey
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Sorry, might not have been clear in my question.

    The motion above was used at our last AGM.

    I’m thinking ahead for our next AGM and wondering if other OCs have required General Meetings for certain things – to get ideas on the kinds of things you might require to be brought back to owners.

    Thank you.

     

     

    #38233
    Lady Penelope
    Lady Penelope
    Strataguru

    Bluey – The OC can remove almost any decision making power from the Committee and place it within the decision making powers of the OC. See SSMA 2015 [s36(3)(b)].

    If you believe that the OC is better placed to make certain decisions then you can submit a Motion on this issue for consideration at a general meeting. These issues (in QLD at least) are then generally known as “Restricted Issues” for the Committee.

    As an example the wording could be:

    “That the Owners Corporation make it a restricted issue under SSMA 2015  [s 36(3)(b)] to authorise:

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    so that such matters are reserved for decision by ordinary resolution of the Owners Corporation at a general meeting.”

    I am not sure how these resolutions are recorded in NSW but in Qld  the Body Corporate record the restricted issue in the register of reserved issues in accordance with section 201 of the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2008.

    The OC can restrict the Committee from making decisions on all manner of things.

    This will probably mean that more general meetings are held in a 12 month period, which may be more expensive in the long run, but that may be a trade-off if you believe that your Committee are not acting appropriately.

    http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ssma2015242/s36.html

    #38234
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    There is also a middle course whereby the OC can give directions to the committee about how it should make a decision. For example, where I live, our ‘rules’ (ACT-speak for  bylaws) allow the committee to approve unit alterations on behalf of the OC. However, there have been various general meeting resolutions over the years that constrain the committee. One constraint is a resolution that the committee must consult the owners of units that might be affected by the alteration, generally those that are immediately adjacent in all directions. A neighbour does not have a veto but the committee must make sure the neighbour has had a chance to see plans and comment. Other OC decisions constrain various details of style and materials that the committee can approve.

    #38236
    Jimmy-T
    Jimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Bluey, although the resolution you quote is a standard one employed by most owners corporations, it is far from mandatory.

    In your case it would be a matter of proposing an amendment that covers the kind of issues that concern you, particularly matters that you feel have not been properly discussed in the past and which should be excluded from delegated powers in the future.

    However, the strata committee will argue with some validity that to hold a general meeting just so that issues can be aired more widely, will hinder the smooth running of the block.

    It sounds like communication is the issue here, not decision-making.  Perhaps you could propose a motion that the strata committee issue consult more widely, explaining the major decisions they will be considering and why they are making them, so that owners can attend the committee meetings (as they are entitled to do) and raise their concerns there.

    A newsletter issued a couple of weeks before their meetings would open up better communication on a number of fronts – not just contentious issues – and would be of benefit to the community as a whole.  But then you’d need to find someone prepared to write it.

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