If you cannot attend a meeting but would like your vote to count, you can select someone to cast your vote on your behalf via proxy voting at a strata meeting. The rules around this in Victoria were amended in 2021, allowing you to submit a voting form in order to cast your vote.
A proxy is a person who represents a voter at a general meeting. An owner can delegate voting rights to another person who becomes their proxy. This 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.
When it comes to proxy voting at a strata meeting, you may authorise a person to act as a proxy in writing. They will be able to do the following on your behalf:
If you as an owner decide to exercise your vote by proxy voting at a strata meeting, you should submit a proxy form with the secretary or strata manager as a formal document of authorisation. This must be done before or at the meeting.
If a lot has multiple owners, all co-owners should sign the form to authorise proxy voting at a strata meeting.
To ensure the proxy is valid and your views are represented, certain procedures must be met in completing the form and in selecting your proxy.
The form appointing the proxy must state the following:
The owners corporation should retain the proxy form in its records, as they may be valid for 12 months from the submission date (depending on the term of appointment).
The rules around proxy voting at a strata meeting differ from state to state. It’s best to contact your strata manager to check if proxy voting is allowed in your circumstance.
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. However, they are not allowed to vote in general meetings on matters related to their appointment, payment or dismissal.
In Queensland, a body corporate manager cannot be appointed as a proxy.
In New South Wales, a proxy must be in the hands of the secretary or strata manager at least 24 hours before the meeting for large strata properties with more than 100 lots.
The proxy voting process at a strata meeting cannot be used for financial or material benefit by a building manager, strata manager or an on-site residential property manager.
Material benefits include:
A developer or a person connected with the developer cannot make use of a proxy voting appointment or power of attorney resulting from the following:
Q: Can someone who is not a property owner be a proxy for a property owner and hold the position of chairman, secretary or treasurer?
A: Yes, they can if they’re representing a property owner. A property owner can nominate anyone of their choosing to manage their property on their behalf or act as their proxy or an office bearer…
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 regarding proxy voting at a strata meeting.
In New South Wales
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.