Owners Corporation FAQs
- Category: Uncategorised
- Published: Thursday, 07 March 2013 02:37
- Written by Administrator
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- Term of office
- First meeting after AGM
- Chairperson's functions
- Secretary's functions
- Treasurer's functions
- Conduct within Owners Corporation
All unit owners are members of the Owners Corporation, also known as the Body Corporate, and are invited to attend and participate in the Annual General Meeting which is normally held in May, June, or July. Motions should be in writing, signed by mover and seconder, and sent to the Managing Agent for Units Plan No 116, Independent Body Corporate GPO Box 1539, Canberra City, ACT 2601 at least 4 weeks before the date of the meeting so that documentation can be prepared in a timely manner. The date of the AGM is advised in the Wybalena Grove Community Update newsletter.
At each AGM the Owners Corporation, that is the owners of the 105 units, elects an executive committee of from 3 to 7 members to conduct the Corporation's business. The committee derives its authority from section 34 of the Unit Titles (Management) Act - 2011 .
A practice has been established for one Executive Committee member to be elected to represent each of the five clusters and to add the Treasurer and Grounds Coordinator to form an Executive Committee of seven members. Such a structure is not specified by the Act but it seems to meet the current needs of Wybalena Grove.
The Unit Titles (Management) Act (s.40) requires the Executive Committee to elect a Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. An office-holder may hold more than one of these positions. These office-holder may appoint a delegate, for example to another office-holder or to a Manager. However the appointer is not relieved of the responsibility to ensure that the delegated function is properly carried out.
The Executive Committees may be assisted by a resident ‘Grounds Coordinator’ who is not an elected member of the Executive Committee but assists in its function to liaise with grounds maintenance contractors and the like.
The Executive Committee meets about every 2 months and a summary of proceedings is provided in the Wybalena Grove Community Update newsletter which is distributed to letterboxes and by e-mail to non-resident owners if an e-mail address has been provided.
Each year at the AGM the levy for the following 12 months is determined. This levy provides funds for all activities of the Owners' Corporation which include maintaining Wybalena Grove common areas, insurance, and administration. Owners pay in two equal instalments due on mid year and 31 December. Interest is charged on late payments.
Section 115 of the Unit Titles (Management) Act - 2011 requires all unit owners to provide their full name and a current address for correspondence for inclusion on the Corporate Register. Owners who do not live in Wybalena Grove are reminded that each change of address should be notified, within 14 days, to the Managing Agent who maintains the register for Units Plan No 116.
Section 115 requires that any change of ownership of a unit be notified in writing to the Owners Corporation within 14 days of the change.
Also, section 115 requires that any change from owner to tenant, or vice versa, or any change of tenant, or any period that the unit is vacant for more than 30 days be notified within 14 days.
The person to advise of any of these changes is the Managing Agent for Units Plan 116, c/o Independent Body Corporate, GPO Box 1539, Canberra City, ACT 2601.
The Act and Regulation governing the 105 units and the common land that comprises Wybalena Grove are:
- Unit Titles Act - 2001,
- Unit Titles Regulation - 2001,
- Unit Titles (Management) Act - 2011,
- Unit Titles (Management) Regulation - 2011.
The ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety (JACS) has series of 20 Facts Sheets on many aspects of the legislation governing Unit Title properties and their management. Subjects include:
- Owners Corporation,
- Maintenance Issues (Class B Units),
- Meetings - Voting Requirements and Proxies,
- Executive Committee,Finance and Levies,
- Sinking Funds Plans - Overview, Requirements,
- Sinking Fund Levies - Post 2012 plans, Pre 2012 plans,
- Sustainability and Utility Infrastructure,
- Selling a Unit - Implied Warranties,
- Corporate Register and Records, and
- Dispute Resolution.
What are the responsibilities of Office Holders and the tenure of members of the Executive Committee?
The Unit Titles (Management) Act - 2011 now defines the functions and responsibilities of the Executive Committee.
A member holds office until the earlier of the next annual general dealing with the executive meeting and the member ceasing to be a member of the owners corporation, i.e. ceasing to be a unit owner.
At the first meeting of the executive committee after the AGM, the committee must elect a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer. A person can be elected to 2 or more positions. The benefit of specifying the functions of each office holder in the Executive Committee is that it identifies those functions that could be delegated to the owners corporation manager if such a manager is appointed. It remains the responsibiliy of an office holder to ensure that delegated functions are properly carried out.
The chairperson’s functions are to:
- chair meetings of the executive committee and owners corporation (unless he or she is not present at the meeting or does not wish to chair the meeting or leaves the meeting for any reason, in which case the people present must elect another person to chair the meeting);
- set the agenda;
- liaise with the treasurer, secretary and manager about the performance of their functions.
The function of the secretary is to, on behalf of the executive committee:
- give notice of meetings;
- prepare and distribute minutes;
- maintain other records as required under the Act (note that the secretary has a reporting function for those matters required under the Act, including certificates).
The treasurer carries out certain functions on behalf of the owners corporation and other functions on behalf of the executive committee.
The function of the treasurer is to, on behalf of the owners corporation:
- provide information to unit owners on the determination of contributions to the general fund and sinking fund; and
- manage receipts, deposits and payments.
The function of the treasurer is to, on behalf of the executive committee:
- maintain records of receipts, deposits and payments;
- provide a financial report to the executive committee; and
- prepare and certify the annual financial statements.
Executive members are representatives of your unit community. They should model good behaviour by acting in a polite and businesslike fashion. In return, other members should respect the office and refrain from badgering executive members about pet topics – if you have an issue to raise with an executive member, raise it directly, clearly and with precision.
A code of conduct for executive committees as set out in schedule 1, part 1.1 of the Unit Titles (Management) Act 2011 has been inserted into the Act. The code requires executive members to:
- have a commitment to acquiring an understanding of the Act relevant to his or her role and a good understanding of the code;
- act honestly and fairly;
- exercise reasonable care and diligence;
- act in the best interests of the owners corporation in exercising the member’s functions as an executive member;
- take reasonable steps to ensure that the member complies with the Act and the code;
- not cause a nuisance on the land or behave in a way that unreasonably affects a person’s lawful use or enjoyment of a unit or the common property;
- not engage in unconscionable conduct; and
- disclose to the executive committee any conflict of interest he or she may have in a matter before the committee.
The Act also recognises the voluntary nature of these positions. New section 47 protects executive members from being civilly liable for conduct engaged in honestly and without recklessness in the exercise of a function under the Act or in the reasonable belief that the conduct was in the exercise of a function under the Act.
Extracted from ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety fact sheet - The Executive Committee