A lot owner from QLD is wondering about the process for changing the date of when the committee meeting will be held. Frank Higginson, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: Advice is needed regarding changing a date for when a committee meeting will be held to accommodate two committee members whose attendance is crucial to discussing/negotiating with the committee on serious by-law breaches.
Advice is needed regarding changing a date for when a committee meeting will be held to accommodate two committee members whose attendance is crucial to discussing/negotiating with the committee on serious by-law breaches.
A date has been set for the meeting, with the agenda listing a numerous serious breaches of the by-laws by a committee member.
We are two key committee members who have raised these issues and are now unable to attend on the specified date due to unforeseen circumstances. We need to be present at the meeting to speak and address the serious breaches.
The committee member with the breaches against her is unwilling to change the date to allow us to be in attendance.
What options are available to us to ensure to this meeting doesn’t go ahead without us there?
Answer: Meetings are called by the secretary, or in their absence, the chairperson. Otherwise, they have to be called if a quorum requires it.
There are a few things in this one.
First, the calling of the meeting. They are called by the secretary, or in their absence, the chairperson. Otherwise, they have to be called if a quorum requires it. A quorum is at least half of the voting members of the committee. (so, on a committee of six that is three and a committee of seven that is four).
If you don’t have the secretary on board and you don’t have the support of a quorum you are out of luck about dictating the date and place for committee meetings.
Next is the conflict of interest issue at committee level. We wrote about that here: Conflicts of interest – where and when they apply
The person being complained about probably does not have a conflict when it comes to the date of the meeting but they definitely do when it comes to the subject matter of by-law enforcement. They would have to absent themselves from that discussion.
So what do our two committee members do? To me there are a few choices:-
- Change their movements so they can make the meeting;
- Give their committee proxies to supporters on the committee (only one per person) and then when it comes to a vote on enforcement their votes then get counted.
Rally the committee members going to the meeting to either:-
- ensure the decision on the day of the meeting goes the way they want
- they have the numbers to force another meeting on a date that suits them.
They can check what happened at the meeting itself if they cannot get there and then take any conflicted decision on at the Commissioner’s Office.
But if they don’t have the numbers at the committee level, even with the conflicted person absenting themselves, they need to look at options at a general meeting down the line, which is a whole other story!
This post appears in Strata News #187.