An ordinary resolution is one passed at a properly convened meeting of the corporation by a simple majority of the votes of members present and voting on the resolution [s 3]. Decisions of a corporation are made by ordinary resolution unless the Act or by-laws specify otherwise.
Special resolutions must be proposed by at least 14 days written notice to all community lot owners, including the text of the proposed resolution and the reasons for the proposed resolution [s 3(1), reg 2(2)].
A special resolution is required to:
- vary the by-laws [ss 12(2), 39], except when the variation relates to the number of votes that may be cast in respect of each lot, when a unanimous resolution is needed
- allow an occupier of a lot who has been given exclusive use of part of the common property under s 36(1) to erect a building or install a fixture on the part of the common property of which they have exclusive use, or alter that part of the common property in any other way [s 36(4)]
- vary or end a development contract [s 50(2)]
- erect a building on, or make any other improvements to (apart from establishing lawns or gardens), the common property [ss 75(3), (1)(c)]
- remove the presiding officer, treasurer or secretary from office [s 76(7)(h)]
- decide that the accounts for the corporation’s first financial year need not be audited [s 80(2)(d)]
- revoke a decision that was originally required to be made by special resolution [s 89(2)]
- in relation to a strata scheme (except one solely or predominantly for non-residential purposes), authorise the erection, alteration, demolition or removal of a building, or changes to the external appearance of a building [s 102(1)]
- authorize acquisition of property (other than a freehold or leasehold interest in land) worth less than $5 000 [s 112(3)(b), reg 18(2)(b)]
- dispose of excess funds in the administrative fund or the sinking fund [s 117]
- exceed the prescribed limitation on the corporation’s expenditure [s 119, reg 21].
When there are only two community lots, or four or more community lots, a special resolution is achieved if the resolution is passed at a properly convened meeting of the corporation and the number of votes (if any) cast against the resolution is 25% or less of the total number of votes that could be cast at a meeting at which all lot owners are present and entitled to vote [s 3(1)(b)(ii)].
Thus, when there are only two lots, both owners must agree to achieve a special resolution.
When there are three community lots and the owner of each lot is entitled to one vote, a special resolution is achieved if the resolution is passed at a properly convened meeting of the corporation at which either no vote, or only one vote, is cast against the resolution [s 88].
A unanimous resolution is achieved if the resolution is passed without any dissenting (opposing) vote; that is, nobody must vote against the resolution.
The resolution must be proposed by at least 14 days written notice to all community lot owners, including the text of the proposed resolution and the reasons for the proposed resolution [s 3(1), reg 2(3)].
Any lot owner who does not attend (or send a proxy to vote), or attends and chooses not to vote, is not counted as a dissenting vote.
Unanimous resolutions are required to:
- decide to apply to the Registrar-General to amend the schedule of lot entitlements [s 21(3)]
- amend the scheme description [s 31]
- decide to apply for the amendment of a deposited community plan, when the corporation is the applicant [s 52(2)]
- decide to apply to amalgamate with another community plan [s 60(4)]
- decide to use the common property or the property of the corporation to produce income [s 75(4)(c)]
- vary the number of votes prescribed by the by-laws that may be cast in respect of each community lot [s 87(2)]
- revoke a decision that was originally required to be made by unanimous resolution [s 89(1)]
- decide to apply money received from an insurance claim for purposes other than making good the loss in respect of which the money was paid [s 105]
- grant an easement over the common property, or consent to the extinguishment of an easement that was granted for the benefit of the common property [s 110(1)]
- grant a right to occupy the whole or a part of the common property to the exclusion of all or some of the owners or occupiers of the community lots [s 111(1)]
- authorize acquisition of freehold or leasehold interest in land [s 112(3)(a)]
- authorize acquisition of property (other than a freehold or leasehold interest in land) worth $5 000 or more [s 112(3)(b), reg 18(2)(a)]
- determine contributions other than on the basis of lot entitlement [s 114(3)]
- exceed the prescribed limitation on the corporation’s expenditure [s 119, reg 21]
- in the case of a residential community scheme with not more than 6 community lots, decide not to have the statement of accounts for that financial year audited [s 138(4)(c)].
Where a unanimous resolution is necessary but only the votes necessary for a special or ordinary resolution are obtained, or where a special resolution is required but only an ordinary resolution is passed, then a person included in the majority in favour of the resolution may apply to the Magistrates Court or the District Court to have the resolution declared sufficient to authorise the particular act proposed [s 149].
Notice of an application to convert the resolution must be served on every person who voted against the resolution, and every person who was entitled to vote but did not. The court may also order that any other person the court declares to have a sufficient interest in the proceedings be served with notice of the application. The court may direct that any such persons be joined as a party to the proceedings. [s 149]
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