- This topic has 5 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
31/12/2019 at 12:15 pm #47109MailboxFlatchatter
To vote on motions at AGMs, EGMs, and Strata Meetings, are owners required to be Financial (with all Levies fully paid) on the day of the Meetings?
Who is responsible for checking these details I,e. Chairman of the meeting or the strata manager?31/12/2019 at 12:51 pm #47119
In NSW, you can’t vote on general meeting issues or in strata committee elections if you are not up to date with your levies by the start of the meeting. Also you can’t be nominated for election to the committee while unfinancial but, bizarrely, you can nominate other people for election (but not vote for them).
Also, committee members can’t vote in a strata committee meeting if they or the person who nominated them is unfinancial at the start of the meeting.
Clearly, the chair of the meeting is expected to ascertain, probably with the help of the strata manager or treasurer, who is and isn’t ‘financial’. The law says if you owe money on the date the meeting is announced and you haven’t cleared the debt by the start of the meeting you are unfinancial.
The question is unclear as to what the start of the meeting actually is. Is it the designated time for the meeting or when the meeting is called to order. Should the strata manager or treasurer accept cash before the start of the meeting? Sometimes the debts are just a few dollors from an accidental underpayment. Most schemes, for obvious reasons, won’t accept cheques.
I know one strata management firm that won’t accept any form of payment at the meeting. Their rule is if the money isn’t in the bank, literally, by the time the meeting starts, then the owner is unfinancial.
You could always challenge that later but you’d have to prove that your vote would have made a difference to the outcome of a decision before NCAT will even entertain a complaint.
OK, here are the relevant bits of the law.
Schedule 1 of the strata Act says this
Voting rights cannot be exercised if contributions not paid
A vote at a general meeting (other than a vote on a motion requiring a unanimous resolution) by an owner of a lot or a person with a priority vote in respect of the lot does not count if the owner of the lot was an unfinancial owner at the date notice of the meeting was given and did not pay the amounts owing before the meeting.
Section 32.2 of the NSW strata Act says this:
An owner of a lot in a strata scheme who was an unfinancial owner at the date notice was given of the meeting at which the election of a strata committee is to be held and who did not pay the amounts owing by the owner before the meeting is not eligible for appointment or election to the strata committee.
On the question of “who checks?” Schedule 1 says:Chairperson to announce names of persons entitled to vote
If requested to do so by a person present and entitled to vote at a meeting, the chairperson must, before submitting a motion to the meeting or the holding of the election of members of the strata committee, announce the names of the persons who are entitled to vote on that motion or at that election.
With regard to voting at committees, Schedule 2 of tha Act says this:
Voting rights cannot be exercised if contributions not paid
A member of the strata committee is not entitled to vote on any motion put or proposed to be put to the strata committee if the member was, or was nominated as a member by a member who was, an unfinancial owner of a lot in the strata scheme at the date notice of the meeting was given and the amounts owed by the unfinancial owner were not paid before the meeting.01/01/2020 at 10:06 pm #47205
From this article:
“Did you know your committee members can’t vote when they are behind with their levies? Or that they can’t vote when the person who nominated them for election is similarly unfinancial? All the details are HERE.”
I did not know that and I find it hard to believe that once elected a committee member’s vote can be blocked if the person who nominated subsequently becomes unfinancial. I may have misunderstood the quote above but that’s how it reads to me.
I followed the link: “All the details are HERE” in the hope of finding a reference to the rule but frustratingly reached the “Page not found?” page. Could someone please provide the authority for this?01/01/2020 at 10:13 pm #47210
NSW Strata Schemes Management Act (2015)
Section 9 Decisions at meetings
(4) Voting rights cannot be exercised if contributions not paid
A member of the strata committee is not entitled to vote on any motion put or proposed to be put to the strata committee if the member was, or was nominated as a member by a member who was, an unfinancial owner of a lot in the strata scheme at the date notice of the meeting was given and the amounts owed by the unfinancial owner were not paid before the meeting.
Don’t know why you got the “Page Not Found” but the fact that you replied to a completely different post makes me hesitant to assume it’s our error. However, if anyone else hit that problem, please let us know as I have been unable to replicate the fault at this end.
And if you still don’t believe us, have a look here: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/2015/50/sch202/01/2020 at 6:56 pm #47233PerplexedFlatchatter
Hi there! And happy 2020!
We have an on-going committee member who has been on the OC for years. He is financial on one or two of his lots but has been unfinancial on several others, for that entire period.
Owners have questioned both the building and strata managers about the legality of his position but have been told, repeatedly, that he is allowed to continue to hold his position and vote on all matters – including re-electing himself – because he is financial on one of his lots.
Owners don’t believe that response but have been unable to sway the powers that be to exclude him from being re-elected, each year.
Could you pls clarify this point and direct us to any clause in the act which deals with this loophole?
And if he is illegally on the OC – what can we do about it, now?
Tku!04/01/2020 at 2:26 pm #47309
As long as he has one property and it is financial, then he can still stand for election and vote.
However, only the unit entitlements for that property are counted in an vote at a general meeting. His unit entitlements for the unfinancial properties do not count in any vote or election at a general meeting.
He may not also nominate another person for election to the committee as that nomination has been used up and an owner can’t nominate anyone else if they are standing for election themselves. If he were financial in, say two other properties, he could nominate two other people.
If it makes it clearer, you have to differentiate between the person and the lot owner.
If he owns lots A, B and C, he should be considered as three different entities – Owner Lot A, Owner Lot B and Owner Lot C. If lot A is financial but the others aren’t then the owner of Lot A has full voting rights but the owners of Lots B and C don’t.
Frankly, I would be more worried about him paying all he owes on the other lots then nominating his mates on to the committee, regardless of whether they were owners or not.
And how come he gets himself elected every time? Just reduce the numbers on the committee, and make sure he has fewer votes than anyone else.
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