A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog
By Anton Kelly
Sectional title schemes are required to hold an annual general meeting (the AGM). This is the only meeting of owners that is required as a routine. At the meeting, the owners make very important decisions, decisions that affect each and every owner, whether they are present at the meeting or not, and what happens to their property investment during the course of that financial year. It seems odd then that most schemes struggle to get enough interested owners to attend and make up a quorum, or dissention, and conflict at the meeting lead to walk outs and an incomplete meeting.
Prescribed management rule (PMR) 56 lists the items that must appear on the agenda for the AGM. They include the approval of the budget and insurance schedules, and deciding on the number of trustees and their election. These decisions are so important that the scheme cannot function without them being made (and of course, the other compulsory agenda items must also be completed). If any of these items are not finalised by a resolution, the meeting is incomplete and will have to be resumed so that it can be completed. This is a very important point. The trustees from the previous financial year continue in office and are responsible for addressing the situation that led to the meeting being adjourned, whatever it may be.
PMR 58 makes provision for the situation where insufficient members come to the meeting and a quorum is not present – the meeting is postponed for a week, the continuation takes place on the same day of the week, at the same time and at the same venue. If there is yet again no quorum after the required interval, the members present constitute a quorum. But there is no specific provision for how a meeting is continued if it is formally adjourned or descends into chaos, as sometimes happens.
When a meeting is adjourned, either a date, time and place for the continuation of the meeting might be agreed during the process of adjourning and in that case no notice of the continuation is required; or the meeting is adjourned with no provision for its continuation. In that case, fresh notice must be sent to all entitled to attend. If a meeting ends chaotically, fresh notice must be sent to all entitled to attend, giving the date, time and place of the continued meeting.
If at the continued meeting, a quorum is not present after half an hour, the provisions of PMR 58 again apply and a third meeting must be held. At that meeting, as long as there are two members present and entitled to vote, they can take all the decisions necessary for the scheme to operate.
Terms that can apply to meetings are: postponed, adjourned, continued, incomplete and dissolved. A meeting that cannot begin because of lack of quorum is postponed, a meeting that is stopped before it is completed is incomplete and must be adjourned, an adjourned meeting is continued after an interval, which could be a few minutes or some days, and once all the business of a meeting has been completed, the meeting is dissolved.
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