A strata manager client recently called to ask about what to do when a strata committee member who was also an officer of the Owners Corporation resigned.
The first step was to double check to see if the person wanted to resign their position as a strata committee member or whether they would just be unable to attend a couple of meetings. A resignation has a different effect to a strata committee member being absent for a meeting.
If a strata committee member resigns in writing then they have vacated their position on the committee. A strata committee meeting should then be called to elect a person eligible for appointment to the committee (section 35(2) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the Act)). The new strata committee member then holds office as a committee member for the remainder of the original person’s term. For example, if Bob resigns in writing six months prior to an Annual General Meeting and Alice is elected to fill Bob’s position then Alice will be a strata committee member from the date of the meeting electing her until the Annual General Meeting.
Taking it one step further, if Bob our resigning strata committee member, was also the Chairperson of the Owners Corporation, then a strata committee meeting should be held to appoint from the strata committee members a new Chairperson (section 45(2) of the Act). This means if Alice was elected to take up Bob’s position on the strata committee, once she was elected she could then put her hand up to be the new Chairperson.
Why should the strata committee fill vacancies when they become available?
The number of members of the strata committee is voted on at the general meeting. This will determine the quorum for each strata committee meeting. Where there are two or more members of the strata committee the quorum for each meeting is not less than half the persons entitled to vote on a motion.
Expanding on our example above, assume there were four strata committee members (Bob, Cathy, Eddie and Karen). The meeting quorum would be two members present and entitled to vote at the meeting. If, after Bob resigned, Cathy stopped paying her strata levies and was not financial and Kel could not attend the next scheduled strata committee meeting quorum would not be met. Why? Only Karen would be present and quorum does not change with Bob’s resignation. Two persons eligible to vote must be present at the meeting for quorum to be met. Without a quorum the meeting cannot consider any motions.