Can the committee restrict owners and residents from participating in general meetings and asking questions? – Michael, NSW
Can the Committee declare that residents (owners) cannot speak at monthly meetings unless they are invited to? At our last AGM, there was no “other business” item on the Agenda, and the chair (who was not the president of the Committee) did not invite any contributions from the floor. The meeting was closed without us having a chance to say anything. Is there any requirement for the AGM to allow “other business”? Also, is it okay for the president of the Committee to allow someone from our appointed Strata Management company to chair the AGM? This happened at our last AGM, and the guy whirled through the meeting brooking no discussion from the floor.
– Michael, NSW
Owners who are not members of the committee are entitled to attend general meetings. However, per clause 13 of schedule 2 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, they can only address the meeting when the committee has resolved to allow this. So it is at the discretion of the committee.
It is quite common for strata managers to be allowed to chair meetings. Meeting procedures can be quite technical so the appointed chairperson may be more comfortable with the manager or expert undertaking this role.
General meetings are time bound. So the discussion is generally allowed as long as it is on topic and follows any protocols outlined to the meeting. The committee may choose to invite questions from the owners in attendance,. However, they may not be able to take all questions or discuss additional matters if they are short of time.
All matters for discussion or consideration at any meeting should be fully declared on the agenda. So, “other business” is not an appropriate item for meeting agendas.
We advise that all important matters should be filed as a motion and included on the meeting agenda for the discussion to be formalised. That way, you can ensure the matter gets due attention and importance, and records of the discussion are maintained in the meeting minutes. Any owner can ask that a motion be put on the next general meeting agenda. The request should be made to the secretary and should include the owners name, lot number and an explanation of the motion of not more than 300 words (per clause 4, Schedule 1)
Here is a guide to NSW strata living that may interest you.