Seven things you need to know about proxy voting at a strata meeting

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

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 anyone their proxy, including their tenant. However, if that owner votes in person, the proxy is invalid. A proxy cannot be transferred to a third person. Valid proxies are part of the quorum – the minimum number of attendees at a meeting that allows it to proceed.

Here are the seven things you need to know about proxy voting at a strata meeting:

Authorising a proxy in writing

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

Appointing a proxy through a form

An owner can vote by proxy at a strata, owners corporation or body corporate meeting by submitting a proxy form with the secretary or strata manager before or at the meeting.
If a property has multiple owners, all should sign the form to authorise proxy voting.

To ensure your proxy vote counts and your views are accurately represented, it’s important to correctly complete the form and carefully choose your proxy.
Generally, the form appointing the proxy must state the following:
• The date the proxy was made.
• Whether the proxy can vote on all matters or is limited to specific issues including the details of those topics.
The owners corporation or body corporate should keep the proxy form in its records, as it may be valid for 12 months from the submission date (depending on the term of appointment).

Proxy voting is not allowed in some instances

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.

Some states allow strata managers to vote by proxy at meetings

In Queensland, a body corporate manager cannot be appointed as a proxy. However, body corporate and strata managers in New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory, and Tasmania 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 cannot vote on matters related to their appointment, payment or dismissal in general meetings.

5. Special proxy voting conditions apply for large strata properties in NSW

Owners, body corporates, and owners corporations need to have a clear understanding of the meeting procedures before any voting. Non-compliance with specific processes may invalidate the vote or may leave risk to penalties and fines.


In New South Wales

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


In Queensland

An individual committee with voting rights can appoint another voting member as their proxy by submitting a form to the secretary before the meeting begins or earlier if the body corporate has set a specific time. However, individuals with outstanding debt or involved in a conflict of interest within the body corporate are not eligible to be assigned a proxy.


In Victoria

A proxy must be provided in a written form including, name a specific person, and given to the owners corporation secretary. It can’t be transferred to another person and becomes invalid after 12 months.


In Northern Territory

A proxy needs to be submitted in writing, following the format approved by the committee, and clearly specify the appointment duration. Finally, if the proxy is being appointed jointly by two or more individuals (as detailed in point 2 above, each person involved in this joint appointment must sign the proxy appointment document.


In Tasmania

To nominate a proxy, a unit owner must send a written notice to the strata corporation’s secretary specifying whether the proxy is nominated for all meetings and matters or just for specific ones. If these guidelines, detailed in section 34(3a)(a), are not adhered to, the nomination is considered invalid as per section 34(3b).

6. No material benefits can be gained through proxy votes

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:

• 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 use a proxy voting appointment or power of attorney resulting from the following:
• A condition in a contract for the sale of a lot.
• Another related contract or arrangement.

7. There is a limit to how many proxies one person can hold

The quota or number of proxies one person can hold depends on the number of lots in your strata property and what state laws permit regarding proxy voting at a strata, owners corporation, or body corporate meeting.


In New South Wales

• Strata properties with 20 lots or less are limited to one proxy vote only.
• In strata properties with more than 20 lots, the number of proxies cannot exceed 5 per cent of the total number of lots. For example, if your strata property has 100 lots, it can have a maximum of five proxies.
• An exception to the above limitations applies to individuals who own more than one lot in a strata scheme and can appoint a single proxy for all their units.


In Queensland

• A person must not hold more than one proxy if less than 20 lots are 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 five per cent 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 per cent of the total number of lots.


In Victoria

• A person must not hold more than one proxy if there are 20 occupiable lots or less.
• If there are more than 20 occupiable lots, a person must not hold proxies for more than 5% of the lot owners.
• Limits do not apply in certain circumstances, for example, if a person holds a proxy for several lots owned by the same person/s.


In the Northern Territory

• Every unit holds a single vote. The owner can assign a proxy to vote on their behalf at a meeting.
• In cases where two or more individuals jointly appoint a proxy, the document must bear the signatures of all those involved.


In Tasmania

• Generally, each unit holds one vote where the owner can appoint a proxy documented in writing.
• In cases where two or more individuals own a unit’s single voting right, they can collectively appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf.
• If co-owners cannot agree on who will cast a vote, the vote is given to the owner listed first on the certificate of title for the unit.


From the first strata management scheme set up in Australia to 70 years later, we have created an industry-leading team of experts across property types who have the knowledge and experience to help manage your property with care, attention, and a focus on protecting and maintaining its value. 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.

Related question from our StrataFAQ community

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…