When organising an annual general meeting (AGM), the organiser must ensure that proper notice is given to each member of the owners corporation. The Owners Corporations Act states that this notice must be provided “at least 14 days before the AGM”. While this may appear straightforward, a closer inspection will reveal some curveball questions such as:
- Does this period include the day of receiving the notice and the day of the actual meeting?
- What if the notice was sent outside of business hours?
- What if the notice was given on a public holiday?
It is important that these questions are carefully considered in order to ensure a fair and consistent process. Proper notification ensures that quorum requirements are satisfied, and the decisions reached in the meeting are valid.
By simplifying the governing legislation, this article aims to serve as a pocket reference guide to navigating the rules surrounding an AGM.
Part 1: What is an AGM?
An annual general meeting must be held with all lot owners if the owners corporation receives or pays out money during the financial year. This provides lot owners with the opportunity to discuss matters relating to their property as well as elect the committee members for the upcoming year. Other matters such as considering a maintenance program and allocating a budget are also brought to the AGM.
Members of the owners corporation also have the opportunity to vote on relevant matters and collectively reach decisions.
This is a formal meeting and requires significant preparation. This includes planning and structuring the meeting, preparation of reports, issuing an agenda and notices of the meeting to all members of the owners corporation.
Part 2: Giving Notice for an AGM
An AGM notice must be issued in writing and can be hand delivered, posted, or sent electronically. The Owners Corporation Act requires that notice is given at least 14 days before the AGM. To illustrate this, let’s say that the meeting is scheduled on the 16th of June. The date of the AGM is not considered a part of the 14-day period. If the organiser were to count back 14 days starting from the day before the meeting (the 15th of June) then they will arrive at the 2nd of June. This is the latest date at which a notice must be given to an owner’s corporation member.
What if the notice is issued on a holiday?
According to the legislation, if the 2nd of June is a public holiday, then the notice must be issued at next possible date (the 1st of June).
When does a notice become effective if it is sent indirectly via post or email?
A notice becomes effective at the time which it is received by the member of the owners corporation. If it is sent electronically via email, it becomes effective the moment it reaches the receiver’s inbox, and the receiver is able to access it. This means that a notice may be sent outside of business hours and still be considered valid.
Alternatively, if the notice is sent via post, then it will be considered effective when it would be delivered in the ordinary course of the post and not at the time that it is sent.
To avoid confusion and a breach of your statutory obligations, make sure that you plan for the notice to be received 14 days before the AGM.
Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.