As one of the members of your Canberra-based strata community’s Executive Committee, these are the meetings you must attend.
Being elected to the Executive Committee (EC) of your strata premises by the Owners Corporation is a big responsibility but a rewarding one.
As part of your role, you will have to attend meetings. These gatherings will either comprise of you and all or some of your fellow EC members, or members of the Owners Corporation. Your strata manager will often be present for meetings as well.
Here’s a breakdown of the meetings an Executive Committee usually holds throughout the year, according to ACT legislation.
Annual General Meetings
Every strata premises must have an Annual General Meeting, to be attended by all members of the Owners Corporation (or their representatives).
At this meeting, the Executive Committee is elected to manage day-to-day business. In a smaller block of less than ten units, the Executive Committee could include all unit owners, however in a larger strata building up to nine Executive Committee members are elected. These individuals hold office for a 12 month period, unless they are found to have breached the code of conduct.
During an Annual General Meeting, administrative and sinking fund budgets and levy contributions are also agreed and set.
According to legislation, an Annual General Meeting must be held within 15 months after the last annual general meeting.
Executive Committee Meetings
The Executive Committee is not required to have a specific number of meetings each year.
However, it is expected they will meet whenever decisions need to be made on behalf of the Owners Corporation. Usually, an EC will set a schedule to meet regularly throughout the year. Meetings can be adjourned and regulated as the committee considers appropriate.
An Executive Committee member may call an additional meeting by giving other members seven days notice in writing, and stating the topics they wish to discuss.
Business may be transacted at a meeting of an Executive Committee only if a ‘quorum’ is present at the relevant time. The quorum is either fifty percent of members or fifty percent plus an extra individual.
At meetings of an EC, all matters must be decided by a majority of the votes of the executive members present and voting.
If an Executive Committee has only two members, all matters must be decided by unanimous vote. If the votes on a matter are equal, the Chairperson may exercise a 2nd (casting) vote, unless there are only two members.
As an Executive Committee member, your presence may also be required at General Meetings of the Owners Corporation.
These are conducted on an ‘as needed’ basis. There are detailed requirements about how the Owners Corporation is notified of General Meetings, how decisions are made and how voting works in the Unit Titles Management Act.
The people entitled to vote on a motion at a general meeting of an owners corporation are as follows:
- for a unit owned by a single individual—the unit owner;
- for a unit owned by a single company—the company’s representative;
(c) for a unit owned by 2 or more part-owners—the part-owners’ representative.
Votes at a General Meeting may be cast by proxy.
At a meeting of the EC or Owners Corporation, the EC secretary is usually present to take minutes. However, a good strata management company may also provide a service to take minutes so all present members can concentrate and contribute to discussions without distraction.
It is important for meeting details to be recorded and distributed so all members of the Owners Corporation know what’s going on and which decisions are being made. Part of the EC’s role is to ensure this takes place. They can do so with the help of their strata manager.
When the EC and Owners Corporation work well together, the outcomes of each meeting will always be in the best interest of the majority of unit owners.