What happens before, during and after a strata property general meetings
We explain how to prepare for a strata property general meeting and what to expect before and after the meeting
Separate from the AGM, a strata property general meeting (which may be referred to as an extraordinary general meeting or a special general meeting) is generally organised on an ad-hoc basis.
These meetings are usually called to discuss a particular agenda item on something that can’t wait until the next AGM, that requires agreement from the owners.
However, much like AGMs, strata property general meetings must be organised and conducted in line with rules and regulations laid out in state laws governing community living.
There are two main ways to call a general meeting of an owners corporation:
- The secretary or strata committee can call one at any time
- If owners are entitled to vote, together hold at least a quarter of the total unit entitlements, ask for a meeting in writing.
If you want to make valuable contributions during a strata property general meeting, it is important first to understand how this particular type of meeting is run and what is expected of owners and committee members. Here is what you should expect before, during and after a general meeting:
- Before: The agenda will be organised
- Before: Financial reporting will be finalised
- Before: The meeting notice will be distributed to all owners
- During: Meeting procedures will be adhered to
- During: Disputes and disagreements will be resolved
- During: Minutes will be recorded
- After: The meeting will be adjourned
- After: Paperwork will be filed
- After: Records will be maintained
Before: The agenda will be organised
The secretary is responsible for calling a strata property general meeting, planning the schedule, setting the agenda, and working with the strata manager to notify all owners.
Any owner, or any person entitled to vote at a general meeting, may require a motion to be included on the agenda of the next general meeting of the owners corporation. If so, they must give the strata property’s secretary written notice of this, that:
- Sets out the required motion
- States the name of the person making the requirement
- Includes an explanation of the motion in under 300 words.
While there are variances between states when it comes to what is required in a strata property general meeting agenda, the agenda may include some or all of the following, among others:
- A motion to confirm the minutes of the last general meeting
- Any statutory motions
- A motion to consider appointing an auditor
- A copy of the last statement of key financial information and any auditor’s report
- A motion for accepting the financial statements
- A motion setting fees or levies
- The details of each insurance policy held by the owners corporation
- A motion to consider insurance policies that have not already been taken out
- An item to consider the annual fire safety statement (if one is required for the building) and arrangements for obtaining the next annual fire safety statements
- Any other motions to be considered at the meeting submitted by an owner or the committee
- Any motions needing a special or unanimous resolution.
Motions on the agenda can be changed at the meeting, except for:
- The subject matter of the motion
- Motions determined by pre-meeting electronic voting.
The secretary is your point of contact whether you are filing a motion to be included in the meeting agenda, completing forms or submitting documents to the owners corporation.
Before: Financial reporting will be finalised
If required for the purpose of the strata property general meeting, the treasurer will work closely with the strata manager to prepare and submit financial reports and a forecasted budget for the owners corporation’s consideration.
- Time and place
- Background information such as last year’s minutes
- A statement that unfinancial owners cannot vote unless their contributions are paid prior to the meeting
- A statement that owners have the right to appoint a proxy
- How the quorum will be determined
- Any motion that was involved in pre-meeting voting
- Explanatory material
- Any reports to be considered
- Voting papers, what needs to be voted on and by what type of meeting resolution
- Committee ballots
- Financial statements and proposed budgets
- Insurance details.
3. Before: The strata property general meeting notice will be distributed to all owners
Owners must generally be notified in writing at least seven days ahead of a strata property general meeting. However, this may vary depending on which state you live in.
If an owner is notified by post, an additional seven working days should be allowed for postage. Generally, the strata manager will coordinate sending out notices. The notice should contain all relevant information to ensure owners are aware of the matters on the agenda, what they can expect from the upcoming meeting and how they can participate.
Strata property general meeting notices may generally contain:
During: Meeting procedures will be adhered to
The chairperson is responsible for ensuring the proper meeting procedures have been followed when convening and conducting a meeting. The chairperson determines the quorum for the meeting and ensures a resolution is passed in a fair and unbiased manner. They do not have a deciding vote.
If the chairperson cannot chair a strata property general meeting, the committee or owners present at the meeting can appoint another member to chair the meeting in the interim. Alternatively, they can delegate the role to the strata manager on pre-agreed conditions set out in the manager’s contract.
During: Disputes and disagreements will be resolved
The chairperson is responsible for addressing and managing any conflicts of interest during a strata property general meeting. The strata manager can assist in clarifying technicalities and mediating differences of opinion.
During: Minutes will be recorded
The secretary ensures the minutes of a strata property general meeting are noted accurately and are retained for future reference.
The minutes should cover all the resolutions passed to enable the next steps to be carried out. The secretary should ensure the minutes are submitted to the strata committee and a copy given to all owners within seven days. The minutes should also include the secretary’s contact information for possible follow up queries from owners. The minutes from the previous meeting should be circulated before a strata property general meeting, so that there is clarity, continuity and closure regarding strata matters.
After: The meeting will be adjourned
The strata property general meeting must be adjourned in line with procedures set out by state-based laws that govern community living.
At times meetings can be delayed or rescheduled. In such cases, the following process is followed:
- The committee passes a motion declaring the meeting is adjourned and provides the reason for an adjournment
- The chairperson sets the time and place for the next meeting
- The secretary sends out a written notice to each owner at least one day before the meeting.
After: Paperwork will be filed
The secretary works with the strata manager to ensure the minutes are accurate before being approved by the strata committee and distributed to all owners with the legislated timeframe after a strata property general meeting.
After: Records will be maintained
The secretary ensures that records including applications from other owners, minutes, and correspondence to or from the owners corporation related to the meetings are provided to the strata manager for inclusion in the records.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.