By the Paddocks Club team
Below are examples of two questions on the Paddocks Club discussion forum, to show you what is available to our Community members!
When must/can the AGM agenda be approved?
Good day Paddocks,
With regards to PMR 17(6)(e), please give clarity when the agenda must be approved.
It is understood that without the approval of the agenda, the meeting can not proceed, but then it becomes impractical to first vote on the item and calculate it (which is very tedious in a complex with over 200 units), to establish if the agenda is approved before the meeting can continue.
The process of “approving the agenda” is a decision that considers changing the order in which the meeting will discuss and decide each of the items of business on the agenda.
The default is that items of business are done in the order the trustees gave in the agenda—but there may be good reasons that some items should be done earlier, or later than originally planned.
Normally the need to move an item back or forward would be known when the meeting starts, so the chairperson could start by asking: “Is there anyone who suggests that the order of business should be changed?”, and if so, then putting the proposed change to the vote. If there is no such suggestion, in my view the chairperson could ask that this be noted and move on to the next item, without the need to call for a vote to confirm what is obvious.
In a very long meeting, where some people have to leave before all the business can be dealt with, or if the meeting is going to be adjourned, it may be sensible to take such a decision later—during the course of the meeting. So an owner could, for example, suggest that a particular issue should be advanced so that it can be dealt with before the adjournment, or delayed because it is logically associated with a matter that will only be dealt with after the adjournment.
Member’s further question:
Thank you for the explanation. So the approval is rather relating to the order, of the items, rather than the actual items that are on the agenda for discussion.
At our AGM we had objection from an owner regards the agenda because the item she proposed was not a point on the agenda, and she insisted that the trustees have a duty to include the point rather than having the discretion to refuse or accept items submitted to the body corporate.
The trustees advised that if she wishes to discuss a matter which requires Special Resolution approval, she will have to get 25% of owners making such a written request before the trustees would call a special meeting to discuss the matter, which would then be a point on the agenda.
The AGM continued, however, the owner disruptively persisted and even posted her documents online for others to view.
The owner was not entitled to raise any issue that was not on the agenda already, with adequate notice of that issue having been given to other owners by way of the agenda.
If the trustees agreed that the issue should be discussed – but not without due notice – they could decide to include it in the next General Metting agenda. If not, then the owner could try to raise the support necessary to requisition a meeting to deal with it.
AGM notice too short by one day: Are the decisions legal?
We had an AGM this week, and the notice period to the owners was one day short for the proper notice of 14 days. At the meeting, one of the members stopped the meeting and said that all decisions that are made at this meeting will not be legal and can be contested.
My question then is, if at this meeting all owners voted to go ahead although the notice was one day short, would it make it a legal meeting where all decisions would be considered legal?
The law requires 14 days notice. The argument that owners agreed to go ahead anyway does not help, as the issue is covered by the law, not their agreement. It might also be argued that this is merely a technical error, that it was only one day, and that there was no prejudice to owners, but I would not be confident of any of these arguments, particularly because at least one owner objected and raised this issue at the meeting.
If the decisions made at an AGM are so important that it makes no sense to have a question mark hanging over their validity—e.g. the worry that the contributions are not properly levied because the underlying budget was not approved. I suggest you call another meeting with proper notice and take the AGM decisions again.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 16, Issue 9.
Graham Paddock is available to answer questions on the Paddocks Club discussion forum for Community members. Get all your questions answered by joining Paddocks Club.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.