The strata corporation can choose to run all of its business through general meetings or it can delegate some functions to a management committee [Strata Titles Act 1988 (SA) s 35]. The management committee's job is to carry out the business of the strata corporation.
Powers and responsibilities of the management committee
The management committee has full power to transact any business of the corporation [s 35(2)], except that:
- the strata corporation may impose limitations on what the committee can do [s 35(2)], and
- the committee does not have the power to do anything for which a special or unanimous resolution is required [s 35(3)].
If a management committee is considering a contentious issue, such as raising special levies, it may be prudent to invite all unit owners to the committee meeting.
A management committee must keep minutes of its meetings and ensure accurate and proper accounting records are kept in respect of financial affairs [s 35(8)].
Membership of the management committee
A management committee is appointed by an ordinary resolution at a general meeting of the strata corporation [s 35(1)]. The members of the management committee must be unit holders (unless all the units are non-residential, in which case, non-unit holders may be on the committee) [s 35(1), (1a)]. The number of committee members and the term of their office (usually 1 year) are fixed by the corporation. Members may be removed by an ordinary resolution of the strata corporation at any time [s 35(5)].
Committee members can appoint another unit holder as their proxy for any meeting they cannot attend [s 35(7)].
If there is a casual vacancy in the membership of the committee, the management committee may co-opt a suitable person to fill the vacancy [s 35(6)].
A strata manager can be appointed to assist the management committee in the running of the affairs of the corporation.
Liability of committee members
Members of the management committee are personally liable for any offences of the strata corporation against the Act. Each person who was a member of the management committee at the time of the offence is also guilty of an offence, and is liable to a penalty of up to half of the maximum prescribed for the offence committed by the corporation [s 47(1)].
A management committee member has a defence if [s 47(2)]:
- the member exercised reasonable care in the exercise of their responsibilities as a member of the management committee; and
- if the offence is not attributable to any intentional or negligent act or omission on the member's part.
Many insurance companies offer office bearer liability cover against such risk.
Meetings of the management committee
notice of meetings
At least three days notice of a management committee meeting must be given [s 35(4b)].
Decisions of the management committee are made by majority vote [s 35(4b)].
To work out the quorum required for a management committee meeting, divide the total number of members of the committee by two, ignoring any fraction resulting from the division, and add one [s 35(4a)].
If the strata corporation has resolved that the management committee has eight members, then:
So the quorum for a management committee with eight members is five.
If the strata corporation has resolved that the management committee has five members, then:
So the quorum for a management committee with five members is three.
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