Strata Schemes General Meetings in light of COVID-19
It has just been announced that the NSW Parliament is considering reforms to the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA) to remove the need for face-to-face meetings and allow owners corporations to operate electronically. In the meantime, owners corporations are still required comply with their obligations to hold meetings in compliance with the SSMA.
Under the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016, there are two methods in which an owners corporation can vote by other means:
- by electronic means from a remote location ie teleconference, video-conference and email; and
- by email, ballot paper or other electronic means before the meeting (pre-meeting electronic voting).
- a scheme with 20 lots or less, one,
- a scheme with more than 20 lots, not more than 5% of the total number of lots.
In order for the owners corporation to vote by ‘other means’ (under Clause 14 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 (‘Clause 14′)) a resolution must be passed at a general meeting in person.
Under clause 28 of Schedule 1 of the SSMA, a vote at a meeting by a person entitled to vote or by a proxy must be cast in person unless the owners corporation, by resolution passed at a general meeting, determines that a vote may be cast by some other specified means.
Note, under Clause 14 subsection 1(b), pre-meeting electronic voting cannot occur when elections are to be determined at the meeting.
What to do if no resolution for electronic meeting has been passed
If the owners corporation have not passed a resolution for electronic voting there is a way to reduce the amount of people in attendance at a general meeting by appointing proxies (noting that there is a limitation on the number of proxies that may be held).
The total number of proxies that may be held by a person are as follows:
To achieve quorum at the meeting (pursuant to clause 17(2)(a) of Schedule 1 of the SSMA), there must be not less than one-quarter of the persons present.
If quorum is not achieved, please note that the chairperson under clause 17(4) of Schedule 1 of the SSMA may declare after half an hour ‘that the persons present either personally or by duly appointed proxy and are entitled to vote on the motion or election constitute a quorum for considering that motion or business…’.
Please note that this is not legal advice. If you require independent legal advice as to your strata scheme please contact us.