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Body Corporate Committee Owner Queensland Residential Strata scheme

Time’s Up for Adjourned Meetings

Body Corporate plans should take advantage of the new legislation and pass motions to limit the need for adjourned meetings.

Body Corporate plans should take advantage of the new quorum legislation and pass motions to limit the need for adjourned meetings.

There are perfectly good reasons to adjourn a Body Corporate meeting, but it has become a bane of the industry that the legislation has permitted them to become standard practice.

While adjournments may have their place to cover for an emergency or last minute change of plan they have become common practice as many strata owners don’t exercise their right to vote, leaving those that are taking an interest stranded without a quorum.

Adjourned meetings themselves cost time and money, and attendance at them can be patchy. This can create a feeling of ennui toward the whole process. It’s unfortunate, but as body corporate managers we often hear responsible owners report that they don’t plan to attend meetings because they know there won’t be a quorum. Everyone just accepts that the meeting will be pushed to next week, probably with a minimum of attendees or participation. The opportunity to do something valuable with the meeting drifts away.

Fortunately, the new legislation allows schemes to take limit the possibility for adjourned meetings to occur. So what’s changing?

From March 1, under the standard module, the Body Corporate will be able to pass a motion by special resolution to change how a quorum is calculated for a general meeting. It can:

    • reduce the number of voters required to be present in person from two to one.

 

  • change the minimum percentage of voters required to vote to between 10 and 25 per cent.

It can also decide by ordinary resolution that a voter is present personally at a meeting if they vote by electronic means, such as video conferencing.

So, if you have a scheme of 40 lots, you can choose to lower the number needed for a quorum from 10 people to four. Of those four, only one of them needs to be physically present. And that person can be present by electronic means – such as a Zoom call.

Once those conditions are met the meeting can proceed and the running of the plan can continue. That’s an important step because the best-run schemes run on continuity and adjourned meetings bring a stop-start rhythm to the decision-making process.

For owners who attend meetings, they should have greater confidence that a meeting will go ahead as scheduled and that their voice can be heard. Hopefully, too it might increase the imperative of owners of middling interest to understand that meetings are their chance to impact the running of their scheme. After all, the risk (or opportunity depending on your viewpoint) of this new legislation is that at some schemes a smaller quorum may allow a smaller group of owners to take more control as they are the ones attending the meetings and forming the quorum. The pathway out of that is participation in the process, which should be a benefit to all.

Would the Change in the quorum legislation benefit your scheme?

If you think the change in the quorum legislation would benefit your scheme please contact your manager directly to see about placing the relevant motion on your next agenda:

 

 

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