How to run an effective strata committee meeting
By doing these seven things, you can rest assured knowing you are running an effective strata committee meeting
Strata committee meetings can be held as often as the members choose. However, there are procedures and best practices that should be followed when organising and conducting them.Here are seven things that must be done before, during or after each strata committee meeting:
- A strata committee meeting notice must be sent
- An agenda must be distributed prior to the meeting
- The chairman or an appointed committee member must chair the meeting
- A quorum must be obtained
- Decisions must be made by majority resolution
- Voting may occur during a physical strata committee meeting or may be done in writing
- Meeting minutes must be distributed within seven days after a strata committee meeting
A strata committee meeting notice must be sent out
The rules for this are a little different in each state, so it’s best to check with your strata manager about which rules apply to you. However, in general, each member of the strata committee and every lot owner must be notified of an intended strata committee meeting before the meeting is held.
In NSW, the meeting notice can be placed on the notice board (if your property has over 100 lot or has a by-law regarding the placement of a notice board) or delivered to each owner.
In Queensland, there is no requirement for committee meeting notices for those under the Small Schemes Module. However, if your property is governed by other Modules, you must give written notice of a meeting to all committee members and lot owners seven days before the meeting or at least two days before if all voting members agree in writing or at the last meeting. You may also place the notice on the body corporate notice board if one exists.
In Victoria, the secretary must give notice of the owners corporation committee meeting. The notice must:
- Be sent out at least three days before the meeting or as determined by the owners corporation
- Set out the time and place of the meeting
- Include an agenda
- Include the minutes of the previous meeting
- Include a statement that the member of the committee who is a lot owner may appoint a proxy for the purposes of the meeting.
2. An agenda must be distributed before the meeting, which includes all motions
The meeting agenda will give some structure to the strata committee meeting.
In NSW, owners holding more than one-third of the total unit entitlements for the strata property can oppose any motion appearing on the meeting notice. To oppose a motion, the party involved must give the secretary written notice of the objection before a decision on the motion is made. After this, any decision made by the strata committee on that matter will have no force or effect. However, it can be added to a general meeting to allow the Owners Corporation to consider the matter instead.
The chairman or an appointed committee member must chair the meeting
If the chairperson is present, they must chair the strata committee meeting. If they’re away, the strata committee must appoint another committee member to chair that meeting.
A quorum must be obtained
A quorum is the minimum number of members needed to transact business at a meeting. The quorum is at least half the committee members for a strata committee meeting.
In Victoria, the committee can only make interim resolutions when there is no quorum.
Decisions must be made by majority resolution
Strata committee members have one vote per agenda item, and decisions are made by majority vote during the strata property committee meeting. Strata committees do not have the authority to decide on matters that require a special or unanimous resolution. This power is reserved for owners corporations.
If members are tied on a decision or matter (i.e. 50 per cent for and against), the matter will be defeated as the majority of the votes has not been reached to pass the item. The chairperson does not have a deciding vote under any circumstances.
Voting may occur during a physical strata committee meeting or may be done in writing
Unlike in general meetings, the strata committee can vote on a motion in writing even if a physical strata committee meeting is not held. For this to be a valid vote, the correct procedure for giving notice of the meeting must be followed, a copy of the motion to be voted on should be given to each committee member, and the committee member must submit their vote to the secretary or strata manager acting on their behalf, prior to the meeting. If you would like to learn about this type of vote, please get in touch with your strata manager.
A strata manager or building manager is automatically a non-voting member of the committee.
A non-voting member does not have a right to vote on committee decisions. A tenant representative member (applicable in New South Wales only) of the strata committee is not entitled to vote. A member of the strata committee is not entitled to vote if they are an unfinancial owner of a lot in the strata property when the notice of the meeting was given and the amounts owed were not paid before the meeting.
Meeting minutes must be distributed within seven days after a strata committee meeting
A strata committee must keep full and accurate minutes of all meetings. This generally falls under the secretary’s responsibilities.
The minutes must include details of the date and time the meeting was held, the attendees present (voting and non-voting) and all resolutions passed, including those considered without holding a meeting. Each committee member must be given a copy of the minutes within seven days after a strata committee meeting in NSW and Victoria and with 21 days in Queensland.Having set up the very first strata scheme in Australia back in 1948, we’ve come a long way in our knowledge and experience across a variety of property types. Whether you are new to strata management or an active committee member, we have developed an extensive library of resources to assist you. Click here to download our FREE Community Living guide on committee management. For a consultation to review your current by-laws with the Kemp Peterson team, click here. To find out more about the services we offer, click here for a free strata assessment.