11 May 2018

Is your scheme approaching its Annual General Meeting (AGM)? Are you prepared? Do you know what is required? We aim to explain some of the requirements to ensure your scheme is fully prepared.

Is your scheme approaching its Annual General Meeting (AGM)? Are you prepared? Do you know what is required? We aim to explain some of the requirements to ensure your scheme is fully prepared.

General Meetings

There are two types of meetings that fall under the General Meeting category. The most common is the Annual General Meeting, however most schemes have experience with Extraordinary General Meeting’s (EGM) as well.

An AGM, as the name would suggest, is the annual meeting for all Owners of the scheme. It is at this meeting that the budget is set. The levied contributions, election of the Council of Owners (COO) and any other agenda items raised, including insurance and confirmation of the financial records of the scheme, may all be discussed during this meeting.

An EGM is a more ad-hoc type of meeting, although still formal, this meeting addresses matters that have arisen, or to raise or spend additional funds for the scheme. There is usually a specific purpose for calling the meeting and as such, will not be of the same nature as an AGM.

Timeframes

Planning for a General Meeting usually starts 8-10 weeks prior to the meeting. The COO will work with the Strata Manager to determine a date and location for the meeting, as well as finalize the agenda and the proposed budget for the scheme, if applicable.

21 days before the meeting is expected to be held, the AGM or EGM pack will be distributed to all owners. Included in this are the proxy forms, the Council nomination form, the agenda, and potentially the financial records for the scheme over the past year, the proposed budget and the insurance details for the scheme.

Proxy

If you cannot attend the meeting, if you are a joint proprietor, or if the lot is owned by another entity, then you will need to complete a proxy form so that your lot can be represented, and so that a quorum can be met in order for the meeting to proceed.

Quorum

For any General Meeting there needs to be at least 50% of the financial lots, either attending in person or represented by proxy. Without this, the meeting cannot officially go ahead and will be adjourned until the following week as per the legislated requirements.

Sufficient Quorum

While a quorum must be obtained for the meeting to go ahead, a Sufficient Quorum will need to be reached for certain motions to be able to be voted on. This is 50% of the Unit Entitlement represented in person or by proxy, and is usually for situations where by-laws are being changed and voted on at a General Meeting.

Putting forward agenda items

You can put forward items to be added to the AGM agenda at any time of the year. However, the most appropriate time to include items for review is at the end of your schemes financial year, or when you receive the advanced notice of the meeting that requests submissions.

When putting forward a motion you should consider the wording for this. While you can include a brief explanatory paragraph to accompany the motion, the motions should be short and direct. As an example, a motion should be written in a positive frame –

“To approve the expenditure of up to $xxx from the Administration fund on ‘x job’ by ‘x’ provider.”

Preparation for the meeting

It is advisable to read through the AGM or EGM pack as soon as it is received. If you have any questions, please raise these with your Strata Manager as soon as possible in order for the matters so that they can either be addressed prior, or so that the matter can be investigated.

The day of the meeting

You should ensure that you have access to your own copy of the documentation. Upon arrival your Strata Manager will check that you are a financial proprietor, and that any proxies required have been received. Once this has been completed, you will need to sign the registration sheet for the meeting, signing in your attendance.

Once quorum has been achieved, the meeting can begin. If quorum has not been met within half an hour of the start time, the meeting will be adjourned as per legislative requirements.

Your budget and levies

At an AGM, a proposed budget will be presented. This proposed budget has been determined by your Council of Owners, with input from your Strata Manager, and covers necessary expenses for your scheme. It also directly correlates to your levies.

Council of Owners

The Council of Owners is elected at every AGM. The previous Council automatically relinquish their roles at the end of the AGM where the newly elected Council of Owners takes over.

Legislation requires between three to seven members on a Council of Owners. If more people nominate than positions available, then a ballot will be held by those in attendance at the meeting. If there are insufficient nominations, no works can be conducted throughout the year, which can include insurance claims, new maintenance contracts etc.

If at any time you have questions about your General Meeting or the processes involved, you should contact your Strata management Company at your earliest convenience.

Please note that the information contained here is of a general nature and may not be specific for the requirements of your scheme, depending on the by-laws registered for your scheme.

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