The Importance of Roof Inspections
This is a guide for council members to understand correct meeting etiquette for their council members, and to help them to determine when and how often they should be holding meetings.
When and how often to hold meetings
It is entirely up to each council to determine when and how often they wish to hold their meetings. For some councils where there is little activity at your strata scheme (particularly for small strata schemes) you may decide that meetings are not necessary.
If you do want to hold regular meetings, you may wish to schedule your meetings for fixed dates in advance (for example, the first Monday of each quarter), or you may just call a meeting as and when the need arises (for example, when items arise that require discussion).
At the very least, you should hold one council meeting after each Annual General Meeting to appoint office bearers (Chairperson, Secretary & Treasurer). You can find more information on these positions here.
Who chairs the meeting?
The Chairperson of the council must chair all meetings at which they are present. If they are not present, another member of the council may chair the meeting. Legislation prohibits the Strata Manager from chairing council meetings (though Strata Managers may and often do chair general meetings).
Can members appoint a proxy if they can’t attend?
If a member cannot attend a council meeting, they may appoint another council member or another owner as their proxy. They cannot appoint a person who is not an owner as their proxy.
Who can call a meeting and the required notice period
The standard Schedule 1 by-laws state that the council may “meet together for the conduct of business and adjourn and otherwise regulate its meetings as it thinks fit, but the council must meet when any member of the council gives to the other members not less than 7 days’ notice of a meeting proposed
by the member specifying in the notice the reason for calling the meeting.” This means that there is no fixed notice period required for a council meeting if all members agree to the meeting date, however if one member wishes to call a meeting, they must provide other members with 7 days’ notice and specif the reason for calling the meeting.
Note, each strata scheme may have different by-laws and this particular by-law may not apply to all schemes.
The different ways you can hold your meetings
We find that meeting by teleconference or videoconference is becoming increasingly common for councils to meet in a more convenient manner that doesn’t require them to travel, or for one of the members to host the meeting. It is entirely up to your council to decide if you’d prefer to meet in person, online, or a combination of both.
Voting at council meetings
The standard Schedule 1 by-laws state that “At meetings of the council, all matters must be determined by a simple majority vote.” This means that council members do not need to reach unanimous agreement on all matters, and in fact you may find that this rarely occurs. Once all members have had an opportunity to have their say on an item of business, it should then be put to a vote and the decision of the majority accepted by all members.
Preparing your agenda
Your agenda should outline the items of business that you intend to discuss at your council meeting. The Secretary will typically prepare the agenda, unless you engage Emerson Raine to do this on the council’s behalf.
Preparing your minutes
Your minutes should outline:
Where and when (date and time) the meeting was held;
Who was present;
Whether there were any apologies, proxies, or invited guests;
Confirmation that a quorum was present (at least 50% of members in attendance either in person or by proxy);
Who chaired the meeting;
What items of business were considered at the meeting and the decisions that were made; and
What the resulting actions were and who is responsible to action them.
The Secretary will typically prepare the minutes, unless you engage Emerson Raine to do this on the council’s behalf.
If the council are preparing the minutes themselves, be sure to provide a copy to Emerson Raine for record keeping, as all council meeting minutes form part of the strata company records.
If your meeting results in actions for Emerson Raine to complete, when providing the minutes to Emerson Raine, ensure that the minutes and/or your email clearly outlines those actions.
The alternative to meetings
Many councils deal with most matters via email and find that this reduces their need to meet. Email works well then matters are relatively straight-forward and can be easily voted on by each member by return email, however it becomes more difficult if discussion on the matter is required in order for a consensus to be reached. You may wish to gauge this on a case-by-case basis and call a meeting only if you feel discussion is needed.
Strata Manager’s attendance at council meetings
Emerson Raine is able to attend council meetings and assist with the preparation of agendas and minutes, however this is typically outside of our ‘agreed services’ and may therefore incur additional charges for our time (noting the time requirement is often significant).