A strata corporation may hold a meeting of its members (a general meeting) at any time [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 33(1)].
A meeting must be held at least once every calendar year (the annual general meeting), and within 15 months of the last annual general meeting [s 33(4)].
Calling of general meetings
A general meeting can be called by the secretary, or any two members of the management committee, or one fifth of the unit holders, or by order of the Magistrates Court [s 33(2)]. An application to the Magistrates Court (minor civil action jurisdiction) to call a general meeting can be made by the owner or occupier of a unit, a person who has contracted to purchase a unit, or any other person bound by the articles of the strata corporation (except for persons invited to or visiting the site) [s 41AA].
Note that, while a strata manager may be given the task of issuing the notice for a general meeting, a strata manager may not call a general meeting.
Notice of general meetings
At least 14 days written notice must be given to all unit holders before the meeting [s 33(3)]. Anyone proposing to convene a meeting of the members of a strata corporation must take reasonable steps to ensure that the proposed day, time and place are reasonably convenient to a majority of members of the corporation [s 33(3a)].
A unit holder may request that the strata corporation provide notices of meeting to another person in addition to (not instead of) the unit holder, for example, someone they have appointed as a proxy. The unit holder must still be sent notices of meetings [s 33(3aa)].
The notice convening a general meeting must set out the agenda for the meeting [s 33(4a)]. The agenda must include [s 33(4b)]:
- the text of any unanimous or special resolutions to be moved at the meeting; and
- a motion confirming the minutes of the previous general meeting.
In the case of an annual general meeting, the agenda must also include [s 33(4b)(c)(v); Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 15]:
- presentation of the accounts for the previous accounting period;
- contributions to be paid by members for the current accounting period;
- presentation of expenditure statements required under section 33A;
- presentation of copies of all insurance policies required under the Act;
- discussion of the policies of insurance required by the Act to be held by the corporation;
- the appointment of the presiding officer, treasurer and secretary of the corporation;
- other appointments to be made or revoked by the corporation at the meeting;
- the number of applications for relief made under Part 3A of the Act and the nature of the claims or disputes the subject of those applications;
- if it is proposed to enter into a contract, or renew or extend a contract, with a paid strata manager, then- the text of the resolution to enter into, or renew or extend, the contract, and- where and when a copy of the contract or proposed contract, including the attached schedule of the strata manager's professional indemnity insurance policy, and the explanatory pamphlet, can be viewed or obtained by members of the corporation; and
- proposed controls on expenditure by delegates of the corporation.
An expenditure statement must be presented by a strata corporation to each annual general meeting of the corporation. The statement must include:
- for the current financial year, the estimated expenditure of a recurrent nature and the estimated expenditure of a non-recurrent nature;
- in relation to reserve funds, the estimated expenditure in future years for which funds should be raised now and held in reserve; and
- the amount to be raised by way of contributions from unit holders to cover the current financial year expenditure and reserve funds.
Forward budget (sinking fund budget)
While strata corporations are not required to have sinking funds (unlike community corporations, which must do so), certain strata corporations are required to present forward budgets at their annual general meetings.
Strata corporations with six or less strata units, and strata corporations with improvements on the common property insured for less than $100 000, are not required to present a forward budget at their annual general meeting [Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 16(3)].
Corporations required to have forward budgets
For corporations with seven to twenty units, and with improvements on the common property insured for $100 000 or more, a forward budget must be presented at each annual general meeting, as part of the expenditure statement. The forward budget must include proposed expenditure (other than recurrent expenditure) for a three year period. New information must be presented about proposed non-recurrent expenditure every three years.
For corporations with more than twenty units, and with improvements on the common property insured for $100 000 or more, the forward budget presented at each annual general meeting must include proposed expenditure (other than recurrent expenditure) for a five year period. New information must be presented about proposed non-recurrent expenditure every five years.
It is necessary to have not less than half of all unit holders represented at any meeting, in person or by proxy or, if applicable, via remote communication. If a quorum is not present, the meeting must be adjourned for at least 7 days, but no more than 14 days, and written notice given to unit holders of another meeting. If less than half of the unit holders are represented at the second meeting, those present are entitled to work as a 'quorum', which means they can legally make decisions, even when special and unanimous resolutions are required [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) ss 33(5), 33(6), 33(7)].
Attendance by remote communication
The articles of a corporation may make provision for attendance and voting at meetings by unit holders by means of telephone, video-link, Internet connection or any similar means of remote communication. If the unit holder complies with the requirements in the articles, they may attend and vote at a meeting by remote communication [s 33(11); Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 15(4)].
A unit holder may request the secretary of the corporation, in writing, to attend and vote at the meeting by means of remote communication. If the secretary of the corporation makes the necessary arrangements to receive and record the unit holder's attendance and voting at the meeting by remote communication, and the unit holder complies with any requirements of the secretary in relation to the request, then the unit holder may attend and vote at the meeting by remote communication [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 33(11); Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 15(4)].
A corporation is under no obligation to provide facilities for remote communication to unit holders [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 33(11)].
Chairing of meetings
A strata corporation must elect a presiding officer, who must be a unit holder (see Officers of the strata corporation). The role of the presiding officer is to chair meetings of the corporation. However, if the presiding officer is not present, another person at the meeting may be appointed to chair [s 33(8)].
If it is proposed that the corporation's strata manager, or an employee of the strata manager, will chair a meeting of the corporation, a majority of those present and entitled to vote at the meeting must agree to this [s 33(9)].
In addition, if it is proposed that the manager chair the meeting, the manager must inform the meeting, before any vote is taken [Strata Titles Regulations 2018 (SA) reg 15(3)]:
- of any proxies the manager holds for the meeting, and that the proxies are available for inspection (in accordance with the rules for proxy voting);
- that the manager may only chair the meeting if a majority of those present and entitled to vote agree;
- that the manager may only vote on the question of who is to chair the meeting if the manager holds proxies specifically allowing them to vote on this; and
- that he or she has no right to prevent any member from moving or voting on any question or motion.
Disclosure of interest by chair
Any person chairing a meeting who has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any matter to be voted on at the meeting must disclose the nature of the interest to the members present at the meeting before the vote is taken, even if they themselves cannot or are not voting on the matter. Failure to do so is an offence with a maximum penalty of $15 000 [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 34A(3)].
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.