The Strata Committee is a vital part of any strata property, with a great deal of responsibility for ensuring owners, residents, and even visitors are safe, happy and protected.
In a strata scheme, the Strata Committee is an elected group of owner representatives which has the power and responsibility to make decisions for the owners corporation. The Committee is elected at each Annual General Meeting and can include one to nine members, except:
> in a 2-lot scheme where an owner of each lot becomes a member, or
> a large strata scheme (of more than 100 lots) where there must be at least three members.
Each committee member owes a duty of care and diligence when considering matters for the owner’s corporation as specified under Section 37 of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015.
The owner’s corporation holds several powers over the strata committee, including:
> Determining the number of elected strata committee members at each AGM
> Dismissing some or all of its strata committee members
> Employing a strata managing agent and/or building manager to fulfil some or all of the duties of an elected strata committee
Should a vacancy occur on a strata committee, it is important to fill it as soon as possible. The strata committee may fill such a vacancy, and there is no need to wait for a general meeting to perform this function.
The Office Bearers
Once elected, the members of the Committee elect the office bearers. The office bearers are:
The Chairperson must preside at all meetings, but if away, the strata committee is required to appoint another strata committee member or the strata managing agent to chair the meeting. The Chairperson does not have a casting vote at strata meetings, unlike corporate situations.
The secretary is responsible for all the administrative and secretarial duties of the strata committee and owners’ corporation. Their core responsibilities include:
> Managing the strata roll
> Convening meetings for the strata committee and owners’ corporation
> Providing notices of meetings
> Providing minutes of meetings
> Enabling inspections of accounts and other committee records
> Giving information to an individual for the owners’ corporation under section 184
> Answering all correspondence addressed to the owners’ corporation
The treasurer is responsible for all the financial duties of the strata committee and owners’ corporation. Their core responsibilities include:
> Sending levy notices
> Receipting, banking and recording for any money paid to the owners’ corporation
> Preparation of any strata information certificates under section 184
> Maintaining all accounting records and preparation of financial statements
Strata Management Company
A strata manager is contracted as an agent for the Owners Corporation. The Owners Corporation appoints the strata management company at a general meeting under an agency agreement that sets out the terms of their authority.
Where a strata managing agent is appointed, the functions of the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer are delegated to the managing agent. The Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer are not prevented from acting in those capacities. If you are a new strata scheme requiring assistance with managing your plan, reach out here.
> There is no legal requirement for how often meetings are held.
> The Secretary can organise a meeting at any time.
> One-third of the strata committee members can ask the Secretary to call a meeting.
> Any other strata committee member can be asked if the Secretary is absent.
If a strata committee meeting is to be convened, at least three days notice must be given, and the quorum for such meetings is half the number of strata committee member positions.
Where a member cannot attend a meeting, a member may, with the consent of the strata committee, appoint an owner or company nominee of a corporate owner to act in their place as an acting member at that meeting (click here to submit a proxy). It is also permissible for that person to already be a member and may vote separately on behalf of the absent member.
Regardless of how many lots a strata committee member may own, only one vote per member is permitted.
A decision of the strata committee is treated as a decision of the owners corporation. No individual committee member can make a decision for the owners corporation. If there is a dispute between the owners corporation and its committee, the owners corporation’s decision prevails.