This question about how to change strata management companies has been answered by Tony Johnson, Horner Management.
Question: We are unhappy with our current strata manager and I’d like to find out how to change strata management companies. What is involved in changing strata managers? How do we call a meeting? What quorum do we need to meet?
I own a flat that’s in a group of 6 in South Australia. Our strata administration fees are high and two other owners and I want to change management as soon as possible as we have found alternative companies offering less than half our current administration fees.
I have spoken with two other owners who are in agreement to change. Another two are on a low income and would presume they would agree, however for some reason one of these people is the presiding officer and has ‘told’ us they do not want to change and they now presume that’s the end of the matter.
I’d like to find out how to change strata management companies:
- What percentage of owners can call a meeting?
- Can we write a letter to all the owners detailing: agenda item of change of strata management, include some quotes, giving 14 days notice, time and place (and book a room in a public place such as the local library)?
- Can the president officer refuse to allow the meeting?
- Do we minute the meeting as per the agenda?
- Do we need to find out prior to the meeting how much notice our current management requirements to exit?
- With 6 units, what’s the legal quorum to firstly hold a meeting and from that quorum how many need to agree before we can change management?
Answer: A general meeting can be called by the secretary, or any two members of the management committee, or one-fifth of the unit owners.
Please note, the answers below are based on the information I have been given. I have assumed for this response, that you are a Strata titled group, as you refer to paying Strata fees, however, if this is a Community Titled group, then some of the below comments will need to be changed as the legislation is different for each Title.
- A general meeting can be called by the secretary, or any two members of the management committee, or one-fifth of the unit owners.
- This is precisely the action to take. Don’t forget that you must make a reasonable effort to ensure that Owner who wishes to attend, can do so, by making the date, time and location as convenient as possible to a majority of Members.
- Provided the above is met, to ensure that the meeting has been called correctly, ensuring every Member has the opportunity to attend, is given the required notice of the meeting (I would give more than 14 days to allow for postage time, to be sure) and enclosing the agenda item as it is to be voted on, the quotes and proxy form. With all of this met, the Presiding Officer must accept the meeting as being duly convened.
- Yes. Minutes must be taken showing the date, time, location, Members present, Resolution and outcome. These minutes should then be distributed to all in attendance and to any Owners who were unable to attend. Depending on the outcome the minutes can then also be sent on to the current Managers to notify them that at the end of their contract period their services will not be renewed.
- Generally your group will have signed on to a 12-month contract at the last AGM, so their service will end at that time should the group not accept terms for renewal. Note that the Members can cancel service at that meeting should it not be possible to hold a general meeting prior to the AGM. The Manager will be able to provide you with a copy of your contract when requested.
- A quorum of the Members in a Strata Corporation is 50% of the units eligible to vote (i.e 3 unit Members). All Voters must be paid up Members of the Corporation. Those unfinancial are unable to vote on matters in front of the group except those matters requiring a unanimous resolution (which this matter does not). This matter will require only an Ordinary resolution which is one passed by a simple majority at a convened meeting. i.e if 3 Owners only attend this meeting then a majority will be 2 in favour. Where 5 Members attend, a majority would be 3 Members in favour of the resolution.
This post appears in Strata News #181.
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This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
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