A lot owner from NSW is wondering ways to overrule Strata Committee decisions. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata provides the following response.
Question: What is deemed as a justifiable reason for an owners corporation to call a vote to overrule its strata committee decisions? What proportion of the vote is required to overrule strata committee decisions?
Our Strata has a couple of less than congenial lot owners who, after resigning from the Strata Committee, now repeatedly quote a single sentence from NSW Fair Trading’s website in all their correspondence, and speak it verbatim when in conversation with committee members.
They quote: “Any decision made by the strata committee is treated as a decision of the owner’s corporation. However, the owner’s corporation can vote to overrule its strata committee’s decisions or put limits on what they can make decisions about”. From the NSW Fair Trading FactSheet: Meetings of the strata committee.
This whilst both tedious and ungracious it is in fact quite true; in the event of a disagreement between the owners corporation and the executive committee, the decision of the owners corporation prevails.
Therefore my 5 questions are:
- What are deemed as justifiable reasons for an owners corporation to call a vote to overrule its strata committee decisions?
- What would be the process of calling for such a vote to take place?
- Would an extraordinary general meeting of the owners corporation be needed to put the overrule motion to the vote?
- What proportion of the vote is required to overrule strata committee decisions?
- Would strata committee members retain their vote in the owners corporation meeting?
- Finally, is there a definitive statement that could be used to effectively counter the NSW Fair Trading quote (and put these nay-sayers in their place)?
Answer: Eg. if the decision of the strata committee was not in the best interests of the Owners Corporation.
- if the strata committee made a decision which was ultra vires or one that may only be made by the Owners Corporation
- if the decision of the strata committee was not in the best interests of the Owners Corporation
- a significant purchase is proposed to be made against the wishes of the individual lot owners
All of the above apply if the decision has NOT yet been implemented ie major purchase has already been made in which case the Owners Corporation would not be able to reverse the decision and would need to seek NCAT assistance.
- A general meeting would need to be called and by ordinary resolution the Owners Corporation would vary, rescind or override the decision made.
- Yes or a motion on the AGM agenda.
Please note following the strata reforms which took effect in November 2016 there are now only types of general meetings, an Annual General meeting and a General Meeting (formally referred to as an Extraordinary General Meeting)
- An ordinary resolution would be required as per point 2 above ie a majority
- Not really, because NSW Fair Trading position re-states the letter of the law (which is correct).
This post appears in Strata News #183.
- NSW: Decision Making in an Owners Corporation. Are decisions made in accordance with legislation?
- Nothing happens without a decision
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.