Sometimes it can become quite overwhelming investing in a strata scheme. With the long list of legislative requirements, jargon, by-laws and regulations that must be understood and adhered to, every so often it’s a good idea to get back to basics and start from the beginning. At SSKB no question is too simplistic or difficult, and we think it is a great idea to cover all bases to ensure we are catering for the needs of all our clients.
What happens at an Annual General Meeting?
Firstly, an annual general meeting is more commonly referred to as an AGM. An annual general meeting or (AGM) must take place at least once during the year. Its purpose is to discuss and make decisions on specific agendas including; financial statements for the year, insurance policies, changes to service contracts and an update on maintenance of common areas. SSKB community managers attend their clients AGM’s and are there to assist with any questions that may arise. There are also ‘Special general meetings’ (known as extraordinary general meetings) that may be held when there are additional items to be discussed or decided upon as a matter of urgency. This can include changes to current by-laws.
An AGM sees arguably two of the most important decisions for the Body Corporate made:
1.) Firstly, the nomination of body corporate ‘Committee Members’. This committee will be tasked with the administration and day to day requirements of the body corporate. The general duties of committee members include attending all committee meetings throughout the year (with meetings usually set in advance and occur quarterly). The committee must act as representatives of all owners and must disqualify themselves from voting on any issue where they have a direct pecuniary financial interest, though the committee members may not be excluded from the meeting. The committee is made up of chairperson, secretary, treasurer and the ordinary committee.
2.) Secondly, the AGM is where the two budgets directly related to body corporate are set.
(a) The administrative fund budget: This is the money that covers day to day expenses of the body corporate such as: general maintenance of common property, insurance premiums paid by the body corporate and further expenditure including gardening or pool maintenance.
(b) Sinking fund budget: This is a proactive approach to foresee future major/capital maintenance for the next 10 years for projects such as painting the building (if the body corporate is responsible) or knocking down and rebuilding a wall or structure on common property.
How is an AGM organised?
It is the responsibility of the elected Secretary to call the AGM by sending out a notice on a list of matters that will be discussed. It will contain the agenda, motions to be decided on and instructions on all other proceedings.
Voting at a general meeting:
A ‘voter’ for an AGM includes those whose name is listed on the body corporate roll as an owner of the lot or representative of the owner. A voter may be present at a general meeting personally, by proxy, by written voting paper or by electronic voting paper (This depends on what is permitted by each bodies corporate). It is important to mention that if the necessary quorum is not present once the meeting is 30 minutes in, an adjournment must take place and the meeting will be rescheduled within the next week.
With the basics now clarified, it’s important to remember that each strata scheme operates a little differently and keeping up to date with how your body corporate works is always a good idea. For further information on Annual General Meetings and Voting Procedures, visit Queensland Department of Justice website.