Strata FAQ: Flying Minutes


Welcome to a new feature in your SSKB Committee Newsletter.

Each edition we will be taking a frequently asked question received by our community managers and share them with you. This is part of our commitment to providing education and support for body corporate and owners corporation committees across Australia.

If you have a question that you’d like to see featured here, then let your community manager know. We’d love to hear from you.

Question

I’m wondering if it is legal to have pre-approved flying minutes?  For example, if a unit wants Foxtel installed, can they have automatic approval with a list of set conditions that they must agree to?

Can we do this to save flying minutes going around requiring approval for those things we would always approve (with conditions) and, if so, do they have an official name – or are they just referred to a pre-approved flying minutes?

Answer:

For those unfamiliar with the term, a flying minute is also known as a vote outside committee (VOC).

According to Frank Higginson of Hynes Lawyers, flying minutes should be used in very specific and limited circumstances to preserve the transparency of committee decisions.

One might think that a common and uncontroversial request such as permission to install pay television could be resolved with a permanent amendment to the bylaw and in some cases this might be true. However a new amendment requires a vote at a general meeting and the costs involved of registering a new Community Management Statement (CMS).

Most bylaws give the committee authority to approve requests such as these, and on this basis, a flying minute is the right procedure to use.

Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • The motion must usually be in writing and given to all committee members.
  • The motion must be passed by a simple majority.
  • In an emergency, notice of the motion must be given to as many committee members as it is practicable to contact. Such notice may be provided verbally or by another appropriate form of communication, such as email.
  • As soon as possible after motion has been given to the committee, it must be provided to lot owners (Standard Module only).
  • Once the vote is decided, the results must be given to owners.

Common requests from lot owners for permission to install air conditioners, awning, shutters and the like can be streamlined by the committee creating a standard set of approval conditions which go out with the flying minutes.

The benefit of addressing requests this way is guidelines can change over time to reflect current best practice.



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