Can the committee resolve to change a by-law without an AGM or EGM? – Graham, NSW

Q: At a recent committee meeting the strata committee resolved to change the by-laws to allow the committee to take over responsibility for front and back gardens on all terrace level lots (lower level makes up approx 25% of the unit entitlements).

All lower levels have terraces that are visible from the upper levels. A Current by-law identifies level 1 garden maintenance as the individual lot owners responsibility. We recently bought the property under this impression.

Question: can the committee resolve to change a by-law without an AGM or EGM? Shouldn’t they first investigate costs and provide some basis of justification?

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A: When it comes to by-laws, changes must be done by owners corporation approval at an annual general meeting (AGM) or an extraordinary general meeting. Owners can put forth a motion with a proposed new by-law in the agenda of the meeting. A special resolution is required to pass the proposed by-law – this means that it has no more than 25 per cent of votes cast against it.

You may wish to start initial conversations with your strata committee, or stata manager to investigate costs and the basis of justification, however, a special resolution will most likely be required when it comes to amending/updating a by-law.