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Can a non-lot owner in NSW hold an Executive Committee position

Question: Can a non lot owner be elected to a Strata committee and hold one of the executive committee positions? If a resident who is not listed as the unit owner on the title deeds, but has that lot owner’s long term proxy (e.g. a lot owner’s spouse or de facto partner), can they be elected to a Strata committee? Then if so, can that individual hold one of the executive committee positions?

Answer: It is very common for residents of a lot that are not owners to be members of the Strata Committee. The main reason for this is usually where the apartment is held in a spouses / partners name.

There are two ways that a person can be nominated to the Strata Committee:

  • In Writing
  • At the AGM

This is outlined in Section 9 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulations 2016 and Clause 5 of Schedule 1 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.

The key aspect of the Strata Committee election is the validity of the person(s) / entity nominating rather than the person being nominated. The nomination process is outlined in Section 31 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (SSMA 2015) and this section advises that the following persons are able to be nominated to the Strata Committee:

  • an individual who is a sole owner of a lot in the strata scheme
  • a company nominee of a corporation that is a sole owner of a lot in the strata scheme
  • an individual who is a co-owner of a lot or a company nominee of a corporation that is a co-owner of a lot in the strata scheme, if the person is nominated for election by an owner who is not a co-owner of the lot or by a co-owner of the lot who is not a candidate for election as a member
  • an individual who is not an owner of a lot in the strata scheme, if the person is nominated for election by an owner of a lot who is not a member, or is not seeking election as a member, of the strata committee
  • the situation you describe is outlined in 31(d) above

I am making an assumption in my response that:

  • ‘By long term proxy’, the co-owner provides a valid proxy form prior to each AGM (or uses a proxy that is still valid from the previous AGM)The non-owner is being correctly nominated by an owner as described above and as set out in the above sections of legislation.

I hope this helps as this is quite a difficult section of the legislation to understand.