For some new owners within a strata scheme, the idea of attending your first Annual General Meeting can seem about as appealing as pulling teeth. However, these meetings are as constructive as they are vitally important. This is your chance to have your say on how your strata property is managed, serviced and maintained. If you’re new to the world of strata, let us take you through what to expect.
The first you’ll likely hear of your Annual General Meeting is through a notice from your strata secretary or manager at least 7 days before the meeting is to be held. This notice will include a detailed agenda including the topics of discussion for the meeting and any other relevant information to the meeting. If you have an issue for the agenda, you will need to write to the secretary or manager prior to this notice.
Attending the meeting
The AGM will go ahead if a quorum is in attendance – that is, at least a quarter of the people who are eligible to vote. Annual General Meetings are required to cover a range of set topics, including:
- Minutes from the last meeting
- Key financial statements for the strata scheme, and a motion for accepting these
- Information regarding strata insurance policies and a motion to consider relevant policies
- Consideration of the annual fire safety statement if one is required
- Discussion of any building defects and relevant rectification
- Discussion on the use and management of the capital works fund
- Motions determining the size and election of strata committee members
- Any other nominated motions
If you cannot attend you may be able to nominate a proxy to vote on your behalf, or depending on your strata scheme’s by-laws you may be able to vote on matters through teleconference calls, email or other electronic means. While most decisions can be determined by a general resolution or minimum 50% vote, particular motions may require a:
- Special resolution of at least 75% approval as calculated by unit entitlement, or a
- Unanimous resolution, or 100% approval.
New NSW changes to the strata scheme AGM
The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 sees a number of changes to the AGM process. One is the encouraged adoption of electronic means to be able to vote at the AGM. Another is improved representation of tenants within the strata property through a tenant representative, if over half of the residents of the property are renting. Strata managers also now have maximum contract lengths of 3 years and are required to provide three insurance quotes from separate providers. These new measures are all designed to improve impartiality and clearer communication at your Annual General Meeting.