The Strata Committee
Meetings of the strata committee
The owners corporation needs to elect a strata committee and then can delegate some of its functions to this committee. The strata committee's role is to make quicker decisions on the day-to-day issues and management of the scheme. Any decision made by the strata committee is treated as a decision of the owners corporation.
Strata committee members are responsible for electing office bearers - Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. This usually takes place at the first committee meeting after the annual general meeting. Strata committee meetings can be held as often as the members like, the Secretary can call a meeting or one third of the strata committee members can ask the Secretary, or any other committee member, to call a meeting.
Each member of the strata committee, and every lot owner, need to be notified of an intended strata committee meeting at least 3 days before the meeting is due to be held. The notice of the meeting must include a detailed agenda for the meeting.
In a large strata scheme (more than 100 lots), the Secretary or meeting organiser needs to put the notice of the meeting on the noticeboard and deliver it to each owner. In other strata schemes, the notice can either be put on the notice board or delivered to each owner. You can deliver the notice by post or email or in person to someone over the age of 16 years at that address. If no address is recorded in the strata roll then the notice needs to be delivered to an owner by:
delivering it personally
sending it to their postal or email address
placing it in their letterbox, or
leaving it on a part of their lot that is their residence, but not in a garage or storeroom.
An owner or, the company nominee of the corporation, can attend strata committee meetings but they cannot speak unless the committee allows.
If the Chairperson is present they must attend all strata committee meetings. If they’re away, the strata committee must appoint another committee member to chair that meeting only.
When does a quorum exist for a meeting?
The quorum for a strata committee meeting exists when at least half of the appointed members are present.
Each strata committee member, other than any tenant member, has one vote. The Chairperson does not have a deciding vote under any circumstances. A decision on any motion at a strata committee meeting is made by a majority vote. A member of the strata committee is not entitled to vote if they are an unfinancial owner of a lot in the strata scheme when the notice of meeting was given and the amounts owed by them were not paid before the meeting or if the person who nominated them is unfinancial.
Addressing conflicts of interest
If a strata committee member has a monetary or other interest that could raise a conflict of interest in relation to matter to be considered by the committee, this interest must be disclosed at a meeting of the committee. After a member has made this disclosure they must not be present when the particular matter is discussed and they cannot vote on the matter unless the committee resolves otherwise. Details about the potential conflict of interest needs to be recorded.
A strata committee meeting can be adjourned for any reason if a motion is passed at the meeting. Notice of when and where the adjourned meeting will be must be put on the noticeboard. If there is no noticeboard, written notice must be given to each owner at least one day before the meeting and this may be sent by
Voting in writing
Unlike general meetings, the strata committee can vote on a motion in writing even if a meeting was not held. For this to be a valid vote, the correct procedure for giving notice of the meeting must be followed and a copy of the motion to be voted on should be given to each committee member. The motion is approved if the majority of strata committee members, other than any tenant member, approve the passing of the motion in writing.
Voting by email, teleconference or other technologies
A strata committee can pass a resolution to adopt any of the following ways of voting:
voting by teleconference, video-conferencing, email or other electronic means by a member while participating in a meeting from a remote location, or
voting by email or other technological means before the meeting at which the matter is to be determined by the committee. This can include accessing a voting website or even a Facebook page. This form of voting cannot be used for the election of officers of the strata committee.
Objecting to motions on the agenda
Owners holding more than one-third of the total unit entitlements for the strata scheme can oppose any motion. Written notice of the objection must be given to the secretary before a decision on the motion is made. Any decision made by the strata committee on that matter will have no force or effect.
Minutes of meetings
A strata committee must keep full and accurate minutes of all meetings. The minutes must include details of all resolutions passed, including those considered without holding a meeting. Within 7 days after a meeting of a strata committee or the passing of a resolution by the strata committee, copies of the minutes must be given to each member of the committee. In a large strata scheme a copy of the minutes must be given to each owner who requests a copy within seven days. In other strata schemes a copy of the minutes must be given to each owner within 7 days.
The Tenants representative
In schemes where tenants make up more than 50 per cent of occupants, a tenants representative may have been nominated by the tenants to be their representative (member) on the strata committee. Whilst the tenant representative is free to speak at meetings, they cannot contribute to the numbers required for a quorum for the committee, and do not have a vote on motions put before the committee. The tenant representative can also be excluded from a meeting whilst the following matters are being discussed or determined:
financial statements and auditor's reports
levying of contributions
recovery of unpaid contributions
a strata renewal proposal under Part 10 of the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 or any related matter.
What Is A Strata Committee and What Is Their Role
The Strata Committee of the Owners Corporation represents owners or owners’ nominees.
It is responsible for the day-to-day running of the strata scheme and is elected at each annual general meeting (AGM).
The Owners Corporation decides the number of Strata Committee members for the coming year at each AGM. It can have from 1–9 members, but in a two-lot scheme both owners must be members. A large scheme (more than 100 lots) must have at least 3 members on its committee.
Once the Strata Committee is elected, the members of the committee decide who is to hold the office-bearer positions. The office-bearer positions are Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
The following are eligible for election to the strata committee:
a company nominee of a corporation that is an owner
a person who is not an owner but who is nominated by an owner who is not standing for election.
If a vacancy occurs during the term of the Strata Committee, the Owners Corporation must appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next AGM.
Co-owners can only be nominated by:
an owner who is not a co-owner of that lot, or
a co-owner of that lot who is not a candidate for the election.
There is no legal requirement for how often Strata Committee meetings must be held. The Secretary may convene a meeting of the Strata Committee at any time.
One-third of the Strata Committee members may ask the Secretary to call a Strata Committee meeting and set a time for the meeting to be held.
If the Secretary is away, any other Strata Committee member may be asked.
Any decision made by the committee is treated as a decision of the Owners Corporation although there are some matters that the committee cannot deal with (for example, levying contributions). In the event of a dispute between the Owners Corporation and its committee, the decision of the Owners Corporation prevails.
What is a Strata Committee? The strata committee (formerly known as the the executive committee) of the owners corporation is a group which represents owners or owners’ nominees. It administers the day-to-day running of the strata scheme in your unit, apartment or townhouse community and is elected at each annual general meeting (AGM). The strata committee consists of the number of persons determined by the owners corporation (not being more than 9). Large schemes must have a minimum of 3 members. A strata committee for a strata scheme comprising 2 lots is to consist of the owner of each lot who is a sole owner or the company nominee of a lot if the sole owner is a corporation.
Once the strata committee is elected, the members of the committee decide who is to hold the office-bearer positions. The owners corporation (OC) has the authority to dismiss some or all of its strata committee. An owners corporation may also employ a strata managing agent and/or caretaker to carry out some or all of the responsibilities of the strata committee.
The following people are eligible for election to the strata committee:
an individual who is an owner
a company nominee of a corporation that is an owner
a co-owner of a lot if nominated by another owner other than the co-owner, or the co-owner if they are not a candidate. Only one co-owner of a lot can be a member at the same time.
an individual who is not an owner but who is nominated for election by an owner who is not a member nor a candidate.
Who is ineligible for election to the strata committee:
a building manager
a property manager or leasing agent
A person connected to the original owner who does not disclose the connection. Unfinancial owner at the time of the notice who has not paid amounts owing prior to the meeting. If become ineligible after appointment and does not disclose in writing to the secretary or chairperson.
If become ineligible after appointment and does not disclose in writing to the secretary or chairperson.
Who can nominate:
Sole owners can self-nominate.
A person who is an owner of more than one lot can nominate one person per lot. An owner does not need to be financial to nominate another person.
An owner does not need to be financial to nominate another person. However, an un-financial nominator at the time of a committee meeting will remove the members’ ability to vote.
A co-owner can nominate other co-owners of their lot providing they are not a candidate for election.
Strata Committee Meetings
A decision at a strata committee meeting is considered a decision of the owners corporation. A fundamental change in the new strata legislation ( Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 ) in the running of strata committee meetings is that the committee member must be financial to vote.
Convening a meeting
Options to convene a strata committee meeting:
the standard last motion on our committee notice is to set a date and time for the next meeting
the secretary may convene a meeting
1/3 of committee members can request a meeting, and the meeting is to be held not later than 14 days after the request (28 days if it is a large scheme)
A motion on the notice of the strata committee meeting must not be considered unless there is a quorum present to consider and vote on the motion. A quorum is present at a meeting when:
(a) in the case of a strata committee which has only one member, if the member is present;
(b) in any other case, if not less than one-half of the persons entitled to vote on the motion are present.
A person who has voted, or intends to vote by a permitted means other than a vote in person is taken to be present for the purposes of determining whether there is a quorum. A member with the consent of the strata committee may appoint an owner or eligible company nominee, to act in his or her role at any meeting of the strata committee. A person can be appointed even if they are already a member of the committee. If your scheme has tenancy notices for more than half the lots in the scheme, then there should be a tenant representative. This person cannot be counted in determining the quorum.
Eligibility to vote
A committee member cannot vote if the contributions for their lot have not been paid, or if they were nominated for the strata committee by an owner who has not paid the contributions for their lot. The key is whether or not the owner of the lot was an un-financial at the date notice of the meeting and did not pay before the meeting. Tenant representatives cannot vote.
Disclosures of pecuniary interest
If you have any pecuniary interest in a motion, then the nature of the interest must be disclosed at a meeting AND the particulars are to be kept in a book for this purpose. A member with a pecuniary interest on a particular matter cannot vote on a motion relating to that matter.
Motions are decided by majority and declared by the chairperson at the meeting. A motion is valid if proper notice is given and each committee member received the motion. If before the meeting, notice is given to the secretary by owners whose unit of entitlement is greater than one third, that the specified owners are opposed to the decision.
The roles of the office bearers
The chairperson presides at general meetings and strata committee meetings and determines quorums and procedural matters at those meetings. The chairperson does not have a casting vote. Procedural matters include:
The declaration of the result of voting by the chairperson is required and conclusive
Ruling a motion out of order
The following functions of the secretary are delegated to the strata managing agent
Maintain the strata roll
Convene meetings of the committee and the owners corporation
Provide notices of meetings and other matters
Provide minutes of meetings
Enable inspections of books and records
Answer communications addressed to the owners corporation
If the secretary believes on reasonable grounds that an offence has or is being committed under the Act then there are investigative powers they can exercise, and they can be accompanied by another committee member, a building manager, or the strata manager.
The new laws also enable the secretary to conduct investigations and research, to attempt to resolve complaints and disputes, and to provide of owner corporation information to relevant parties.
The following are considered general functions of the treasurer which are delegated to the strata managing agent
Sending levy notices
Receipting, banking and recording moneys paid to the owners corporation
Provide the strata information certificate (relating to the sale of a lot)
Keeping accounting records and preparing financial statements
It is vital to disclose a connection to the original owner for election to the strata committee. The disclosure must be made at the AGM before the election and is to be recorded in the minutes of the AGM. A connected person to the original owner is:
(a) a relative of the principal or holder of an executive position (director, manager or secretary of the corporation)
(b) a person employed or engaged or a business partner of the original owner
(c) the employer of the original owner
(d) any connection or association.