Effective Committee Meetings are essential to the successful running of your Body Corporate and ensuring that your scheme is running in accordance with its legislative obligations.
Being prepared and efficient can make all the difference to your Body Corporate Committee Meetings and ensure your meeting is a successful one. In this article, our SSKB Community Experts provide their tips on calling a Committee Meeting, how to run a successful Committee Meeting, who can attend and how to keep minutes.
What is a Committee Meeting?
A Committee Meeting is a meeting (either in-person or via video conferencing) that allows the committee to make binding decisions. It must adhere to the following structure:
- Notice must be given to Owners
- The meeting must have an agenda
- There must be a quorum of committee members present
There is no minimum or maximum number of committee meetings that must be held by the Committee. The Committee can decide where to hold the meeting for example at the SSKB office or onsite at your building. However, the meeting cannot be held more than 15 kilometres from the scheme land if half the number required for a quorum object in writing to the Secretary.
Calling a Committee Meeting
A Committee Meeting is called by either:
- The Secretary
- The Chairperson in the Secretary’s absence
- Any Committee Member, in the absence of both the Secretary and Chairperson, with the agreement of a quorum of the Committee
- Secretary, or Chairperson in the Secretary’s absence, if asked by a quorum of the Committee in writing.
The meeting must be held within 21 days after the Secretary or Chairperson receives the request to call it.
If the meeting is not held within 21 days, the meeting may be called by another member of the Committee as long as enough members to form a quorum agree.
The Secretary and Chairperson may be presumed absent if no reply is received to the request within 7 days after it has been sent to the Body Corporate address for service.
Written notice of a meeting must be given to each Committee Member (including non-voting members). The notice must be given at least 7 days before the meeting or at least 2 days if all voting members agree in writing or at the last meeting.
Each Lot Owner must be given a copy of the notice and agenda (unless they request otherwise). It must also be put on the Body Corporate noticeboard, if any.
There is no requirement under the Small Schemes Module for notice of Committee Meetings.
Preparation is key! The agenda for a Committee Meeting must contain the items of business that the Committee plans to discuss.
The agenda must include a motion to confirm the minutes of the last meeting as well as a motion to confirm any resolutions passed outside of a committee meeting.
SSKB Community Manager, Kelly Richter stated, “For Body Corporate Committee’s to be able to run effective meetings it is paramount that the basics are done right, it is quite common within the strata industry for committees to receive last minute documentation whether that be an owner’s query or a Building Manager’s report. This then puts committee members in a position where they will not be able to contribute effectively when discussion arises, this results in angst between committee members or further delays as the meeting progresses. However, ultimately the “golden rule” with any meeting is to keep to the agenda. Should contentious items be on the agenda, with the assistance of the Body Corporate Manager the Chairperson should look to set timeframes for each agenda item which will allow enough time for a healthy debate but strict enough that the those in attendance remain on point.”
The Committee should have at least 3 or 4 days before the meeting to revise the documents and prepare any discussion before the meeting.
Running a Committee Meeting
There is no required number of Committee Meetings to be held each year. The Committee meets as often as it needs.
It is important to note that the Committee can also vote outside a Committee Meeting (i.e. without holding a formal meeting).
Voting Outside a Committee Meeting
The Committee can make decisions without holding a Committee Meeting.
To vote outside a Committee Meeting, the Secretary (or another member of the Committee authorised by the majority of voting members) must give, at the same time:
- Written notice of the motion to all Committee Members
- Notice of the motion to all Lot Owners.
Committee Members need to return their written votes to the secretary within 21 days of the notice being given.
What is a Quorum?
A quorum is the minimum number of members that must be ‘present’ before a meeting can start. A member of the Committee is considered present if they attend in person or by electronic means if authorised to do so.
For a Committee Meeting a quorum is at least half the voting members of the Committee for example:
- If there are 6 voting members of the Committee, a quorum is 3.
- If there are 9 voting members of the Committee, a quorum is 5.
Who can attend Body Corporate Committee Meetings?
Non-voting members can attend Committee Meetings in person or by email, teleconference or video conference (if electronic attendance has been authorised by the Committee).
Non-voting members must be absent for certain agenda items if decided by the Committee. For example, if the Committee are discussing the person’s engagement the person must not be present.
Attendance by Owners and their representatives
Non-members can attend Committee Meetings in person or by electronic means (if electronic attendance has been authorised by the Committee).
A representative of an Owner will be able to attend Committee Meetings in place of an Owner.
An Owner or their representative will need to give the Secretary written notice about attending a Committee Meeting at least 24 hours before the meeting.
The notice needs to include:
- Their residential or business address
- The name of the Lot Owner they are representing
- Evidence the Owner has asked them to represent them at the meeting, unless their name is already on the Body Corporate Roll
- Whether they are a member of the Owner’s family
- Acting under the power of attorney of the Owner
- Director, secretary or other nominee of a company that owns the Lot.
Non-members and their representatives can be asked to leave for certain agenda items (e.g. a discussion or vote on a by-law contravention by that Owner), if decided by the Committee.
Other persons can be invited to attend a Committee Meeting by the Committee.
A non-member may only observe the meeting and may only speak if invited to. They can be directed to leave if they do not comply.
All attendees of a Committee Meeting can do so electronically if authorised by the Committee via:
- Video conference
Minutes are the most important part of the Committee Meeting documentation. The committee must keep full and accurate minutes of each Committee Meeting. This includes:
- Who was at the meeting
- What decisions were made
- How many votes approved each decision
- Who is taking action on each decision
- Details of any correspondence, reports, notices or other documents tabled
At SSKB, our Community Managers quite often undertake the role of Secretary and will record the minutes of the meetings.
SSKB’s Community Managers support both you and your community to ensure that your Committee Meetings are a success. For more information, click here to gain more insight into the purpose of the Body Corporate.