According to the NSW Government’s Fair Trading department, the strata committee represents the owners’ corporation of a building complex. The committee alongside the Strata Manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the strata scheme and is elected at each Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the particular complex. The AGM also deals with matters that the owners need to consider including insurance and building defects. Any meeting other than the AGM is referred to as a general meeting.
Those eligible for membership/election onto to the strata committee are lot owners, company nominee/s of a corporation that is an owner & a person who may not be an owner but is nominated by an owner who is not standing for election. If an elected member makes his or her position vacant throughout the term, the owners’ corporation can appoint a person to fill the spot until a vote is held at the next AGM. It should also be noted that a co-owner of a lot can only be nominated by an owner who is not a co-owner of that lot or a co-owner of that lot who is not a candidate for the election.
Any decision that is made by the strata committee is treated as a decision of the owner’s corporation. Therefore as an owner, it is important to be aware of the decisions that are being made by the strata committee in relation to the building that your lot belongs to. One way to do this is to be present at the annual general meeting(AGM)of the building. Owners can also rest assured in knowing that no individual committee member can make a decision for the owners’ corporation and if there is a dispute between the owners’ corporation and the committee, the owners’ corporation’s decision will prevail. The owners’ corporation can also limit the powers of its committee.
Tenants can also choose to attend the owners’ corporation meetings in order to be aware of what’s happening where they reside. Tenants need to first ensure that they are correctly registered on the Strata Roll. Once they are registered, the right to attend owners’ corporation meeting & communication with the owners’ corporation can be exercised. Tenants do need to be aware however that they cannot vote unless they are an authorized proxy and must get permission before speaking at the meeting. Tenants may also be excluded from meetings where financial matters are discussed. If a strata scheme consists of tenants in at least half the lots, then the tenants can nominate a tenant representative to the strata committee. The same rules that were previously mentioned regarding financial issues will still apply to the tenant representative.
An important point to also remember is that the strata committee consists of volunteers who have chosen to give their time and energy in order to assist with the due diligence for the building. When any owner, tenant or other such person is communicating with the strata committee, it is important to keep this in mind. Although points of disagreement may be discussed, treating the strata committee members with respect should be prioritized.