The rules using proxy voting at strata meetings

The rules using proxy voting at strata meetings header image

The rules using proxy voting at strata meetings

If you are unable to attend a meeting but would like your vote to be presented, you can select someone to cast your vote on your behalf via a proxy.

A proxy is a person who represents a voter at a general meeting. An owner can delegate their voting rights to another person who becomes their proxy, which is called proxy voting.

An owner can make any person their proxy, including their tenant. A proxy has no effect if the person who gave the proxy attends the meeting and votes in person. A proxy cannot be transferred to a third person. Valid proxies are part of the quorum that allows a meeting to proceed.

 

1. You may authorise a person in writing to act as your proxy to:

  • Attend, speak or vote on your behalf at an owners corporation meeting
  • Vote on your behalf in a ballot
  • Represent you on the committee.

 

2. How to appoint a proxy for a strata meeting

As an owner, if you decide to exercise your vote by proxy, you should submit a proxy form with the secretary as a formal document of authorisation. Proxies must be given to the secretary before or at the meeting.

If there are multiple owners of the lot, the form should be signed by all co-owners to authorise the proxy. The owners corporation should retain the proxy form in its records as they are valid for 12 months from the date of submission.

 

3. Completing a proxy form

A proxy form allows an owner to have their vote recorded and their interests represented should they be unable to attend a general meeting in person. To ensure the proxy is valid and that your views are represented, certain procedures must be met in completing the form and in the nomination of your proxy.

The form appointing the proxy must state:

  • The date on which the proxy is made
  • Whether the proxy can vote on all matters, or only certain matters and what those matters are

How the proxy must vote on a motion for the appointment or continuation of a strata management provider).

 

4. How long is a proxy valid for?

A proxy will lapse until the period specified in the proxy (if any) or 12 months (or at the end of the body corporate’s financial year) after the form is delivered to the secretary.

 

5. When is proxy voting not allowed?

Proxy voting differs from state to state, and there may be restrictions on the number of proxies allowed per person, per lot.

Proxy voting is not allowed in committee meetings, on a motion to elect committee members, or to engage a person as a body corporate manager or a service contractor, or to authorise a person as a letting agent.

 

6. Can a strata manager vote by proxy?

In New South Wales and Victoria, strata managers may be permitted to vote on behalf of an owner but only if the proper authorisation and proxy form is submitted with the secretary. They are not allowed to vote in general meetings and on matters related to their appointment, payment or dismissal. In Queensland, a body corporate manager cannot be appointed as a proxy.

 

7. What are the proxy special conditions for large strata properties?

In New South Wales, a proxy must be in the hands of the secretary at least 24 hours before the meeting for large strata properties (more than 100 lots).

 

8. No material benefits can be gained through proxy votes

A proxy cannot be used by a building manager, strata manager (or body corporate or owners corporation manager) or an on-site residential property manager for a financial or material benefit.

Material benefits include:

  • Extending their term of appointment
  • Increasing their remuneration
  • Deciding not to pursue or delay legal proceedings involving the proxy holder.

A developer or a person connected with the developer cannot make use of a proxy voting appointment or power of attorney resulting from:

  • A condition in a contract for the sale of a strata lot
  • Another related contract or arrangement.

 

9. Proxy farming – getting the voting advantage

Previous legislation allowed for owners to freely nominate any other owner to proxy vote on their behalf, this eventually led to the practice of proxy farming.

Proxy farming occurs when an owner would obtain as many votes as possible from other owners. This led to situations where a small number of owners would have the majority of the votes at meetings. Recent amendments have now capped the number of votes any one owner may have.

 

10. Proxy limits – how many proxies can one person hold?

The quota or number of proxies one person can hold depends on the number of lots in your strata property and what your state laws permit.

 

In New South Wales

  • One proxy vote only for strata property with 20 lots or less
  • In a strata property with more than 20 lots, a number that is equal to no more than 5 percent of the total number of lots. For example, if your strata property has a total of 100 lots, it can have a maximum of five proxies.

 

In Queensland 

  • A person must not hold more than one proxy if there are less than 20 lots in the body corporate property
  • For properties registered under the Standard Module and with 20 or more lots, a person must not hold proxies for more than 5% of the total number of lots
  • For properties registered under the Accommodation Module and with 20 or more lots, a person must not hold proxies for more than 10% of the total number of lots.

 

In Victoria

Only one vote is allowed per lot.


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