We helped a Body Corporate this month that had got a bit confused. They were in the habit of holding a Committee and owners meeting. At the meeting, there were lot owners present who were not on the Committee. Their meetings were informal, and at past meetings there had been general consensus from all attending in relation to the issues discussed. This had worked well.
However, they had come unstuck because of some dissension in regard to the preparation of an upcoming AGM. A lot owner started to use the legislation as a weapon to claim motions and meetings were invalid. The BCCM legislation is very prescriptive and it works very well to help Bodies Corporate to know precisely what they must do to meet their obligations. Conversely, it works very badly when an aggrieved lot owner seeks to trip up a Committee for not observing every clause correctly.
The general solution to this issue is that the Committee needs to act a little more formally. Consensus is not always possible. Attendees need to be aware that a Committee and lot owners meeting is NOT a general meeting of the Body Corporate as prescribed by the legislation. It is a Committee meeting to which all lot owners are invited. Attendees need to be aware that only voting members of the Committee can pass a resolution. In this particular case, the aggrieved lot owner was not a Committee member. By formally recording votes from voting members of the Committee, Committee business can be concluded.
The legislation explicitly provides for the Body Corporate to place its trust in the Committee to prepare an AGM and the Committee are entitled to do just that. Aggrieved lot owners can speak against motions at an AGM and are able to let the wider Body Corporate community decide at that time. Because of the trust that has been placed on the Committee in preparing a reasonable budget for consideration at an AGM, the budgets at an AGM can only be varied by no more than 10%.