How to Conduct an Effective and Successful Strata Annual General Meeting

May 24th, 2017

 

If you are a self managed strata or body corporate, you may be fretting about the next strata annual general meeting (AGM) you’re facilitating. It can be stressful trying to coordinate a successful and efficient meeting that is going to provide the necessary outcomes that you need to achieve. The key to a successful meeting is preparing and following the rules for holding AGMs and voting – from convening a meeting and giving notices, to issuing agendas and preparing and distributing minutes.

When you know what should and can be done, you can ensure that the meeting runs smoothly from start to finish, as well as ensure that the goals of the meeting are met by the time it ends.

 

Also remember that the rules are similar around Australia but there are slight differences with each state.  The below information refers to South Australia.

 

Convening a meeting

An AGM can be convened via:

  • the presiding officer, treasurer or secretary of the corporation

 

  • any two members of the management committee

 

  • a member or members of the corporation the value of whose lot entitlement or combined lot entitlements is 20 per cent or more of the aggregate value of all the lot entitlements

 

  • a member or members of the corporation who holds, or who together hold, 20 per cent or more of the total number of community lots in the scheme, or

 

  • on the order of the Magistrates Court following an application under s 141

Giving notice

A notice should be given to all owners to attend the AGM. The notice should include the date, time, and venue of the meeting.

The notice must be delivered fourteen clear days before the meeting, not including the day of receipt of the notice and the date of the meeting. The notice can be sent in person, via email or mail.

 

Issuing an agenda

The notice must also include an agenda that sets out the motions to be considered at the meeting.

Before the agenda is issued, lot owners who are eligible to vote at the meeting can propose a motion to the secretary for consideration. A motion should clearly state the proposal to be considered at the meeting, and if a special or unanimous resolution is needed.

Motions on the agenda should be balanced, eg. mix some of the heavier/controversial topics with lighter/pleasant topics. Motions can include the following:

  • Insurance
  • Budgets
  • Levies
  • Changing by-laws
  • Debt collection
  • Funds (eg 10-year plan for the Capital Works Fund)
  • Granting exclusive use of common property
  • Selling, acquiring, or leasing common property
  • Building defects, rectification, and valuation
  • Accounting records and last financial statements
  • Election of the strata boardcommittee members
  • Restrictions on powers of the strata boardcommittee
  • Restricted or special matters for consideration
  • Expenses that exceed the number of lots in a strata scheme
  • Appointment of an auditor or building inspector
  • Initial maintenance schedule
  • Appointment of a strata manager or building manager and delegation of tasks
  • Minutes of the previous meeting.

 

Preparing for the meeting

As soon as the recipients receive the notice and agenda, they should read through them carefully. The secretary and chairperson can also meet with the recipients to discuss opinions and options, and review items on the agenda. This way agreements can be built upon, and disagreements can be further explored before the meeting, saving angst, time, and money.

When the owners know there’s a meeting to be held and materials are given to them early, not only will they be more likely to attend the meeting, they’ll also be more mentally and emotionally prepared for whatever the agenda holds.

 

Attending and chairing the meeting

For those who can’t go to the meeting in person and are eligible to vote, they can appoint a proxy to attend and vote on their behalf. Or they could participate in the meeting via teleconferencing or videoconferencing.

The chairperson should preside over the meeting.. If they’re away, the owners should appoint another board member to chair the meeting.  If you have a strata manager, they will usually chair the meeting.

 

Determining if there’s a quorum

When there’s a quorum present at the meeting, a motion can be considered and a committee can be elected.

There’s a quorum for considering and voting on a motion or at an election if more than half the owners are present (the rules are a bit more complicated than this but this is a good rule of thumb)

 

Adjourning the meeting

If a quorum isn’t present after 30 minutes from the start of the meeting, the chairperson must adjourn the meeting for at least seven to fourteen days, with the secretary giving notice to the owners of the rescheduled time.

Voting rights and options

Each owner has one vote. The chairperson doesn’t have a deciding vote under any circumstances.

An owner can’t vote if they’re an unfinancial owner of a lot in the strata scheme when the notice of the meeting was given and the amounts they owe weren’t paid prior to the meeting.

A member who participates in the meeting from a remote location can vote by email, teleconference, or videoconference.

 

Making resolutions

Resolutions for motions are typically decided (ie. resolved) by a majority vote, which is by numbers. These resolutions are referred to as simple or ordinary resolutions.

More urgent or more serious matters can only be decided by a:

  • Special resolution – majority vote and votes against are 25% or less (eg. for changing by-laws or granting exclusive use of common property).

 

  • Unanimous resolution – No votes against (eg. for sale of common property).

 

Motions that need special or unanimous resolutions should be recorded on the agenda before a meeting.

 

Preparing and distributing minutes

The secretary should keep full and accurate minutes of the meeting, which must include details of all resolutions passed. They should also provide copies of the minutes to each owner of the strata scheme.

 

Leading a more effective meeting

By taking these rules into account, you can lead a more effective strata AGM. Remember, it’s all about preparing for the meeting and knowing what’s expected of the attendees. And when you can conduct an efficient and effective meeting, lot owners will be able to fulfil their responsibilities as members of a strata scheme.

Strata Data can arrange everything you need to facilitate meetings for your strata corporation, including issuing agendas, attending and chairing meetings, and preparing and distributing minutes. Contact us now and see how we can help you run a successful strata meeting.