Most decisions at a meeting of the body corporate are discussed and then made by voting on resolutions. Many resolutions need a majority of votes to agree to the motion for it to be passed.
Before a general meeting of the body corporate can proceed, the members of the body corporate must make a quorum consisting of at least 25% of eligible voters. Unless the development only has one owner, a quorum must always be at least two members of the body corporate.
If a unit owner is not attending the meeting, they can be represented by another person, or vote by post.
Who can vote
You can vote if you are aged 16 years or older, and:
- recorded on the body corporate register as the owner of a principal unit or their authorised representative, or
- the nominee (for a company) or proxy of that registered owner or their representative; or
- a subsidiary body corporate representative
You will not be entitled to vote if you have unpaid levies due to the body corporate for your unit.
Regardless of whether the matter requires a special resolution or an ordinary resolution, or whether a poll is requested, only one vote may be exercised for each principal unit. Even if you jointly own a principal unit with someone else, you only have one vote between you.
Minimum number of votes
Most decisions at a meeting of the body corporate are discussed and then made by voting on resolutions.
Before any business item on the agenda can be resolved a quorum of eligible voters, or their proxies, need to be present. A quorum is the minimum number of members necessary to conduct business. In the case of a body corporate meeting, the quorum is the people who can vote on behalf of at least 25% of the principal units.
However, a meeting can proceed without a quorum present if the people who have cast postal votes together with those actually present at the meeting represent the voting power of at least 25% of the principal units.
If the body corporate has two or more members, the quorum must always be at least two members.
What if there is no quorum?
If the meeting can’t proceed because there is no quorum and there aren’t enough postal votes for 25% of the voting power to be represented, the meeting is adjourned to the same day, time and place one week later, or a changed time and place that the chairperson notifies to all unit owners. The reconvened meeting must proceed, whether or not the 25% threshold is reached.
Calculating voting thresholds
When votes are being counted they cannot be rounded up. For example if a development has 10 principal units and only 7 owners of principal units vote on the original motion:
- For a special resolution, 75% of 7 votes is required, which equals 5.25 votes. Therefore for the special resolution to be passed the owners of at least 6 units must vote in favour
- For an ordinary resolution, a majority of 7 votes is required, which equals 3.5 votes. For the ordinary resolution to be passed the owners of at least 4 units must vote in favour.
Voting thresholds where a poll is requested
If a poll is requested for either a special or an ordinary resolution, only one vote may be exercised by each eligible voter of each principal unit. Only those who voted on the original motion for that special or ordinary resolution can exercise their vote in the poll.
Where the poll is requested, 50% of the ownership interest represented by those voting is needed for an ordinary resolution to pass and 75% of the ownership interest represented by those voting is needed for a special resolution to pass.
Voting by proxy or post, if you can't attend a meeting
If you can’t attend the meeting you can vote by proxy or by post. Forms for these are sent out with the notice of meeting.
A proxy is a person representing the eligible voter for a particular meeting, and who attends the meeting on their behalf. The proxy must be appointed by the eligible voter on a proxy form. The proxy appointment will not be effective until the form is delivered at the meeting in the manner required by the body corporate.
Postal voting forms will be included with the notice of the meeting. Postal votes will not count towards a motion that is materially amended at the meeting. Those postal votes will still count towards the threshold for the meeting proceeding without a quorum.
Proxy and postal voting forms are prescribed under the Unit Titles Regulations 2011.
Subsidiary body corporate voting at a parent body corporate meeting
A subsidiary body corporate must elect a subsidiary body corporate representative by ordinary resolution at every annual general meeting of the subsidiary body corporate.
When a subsidiary body corporate receives a notice of a general meeting from its parent body corporate, the chairperson of the subsidiary body corporate needs to call a general meeting.
The subsidiary body corporate will consider the parent body corporate agenda and decide how their representative will represent it at the meeting.
The subsidiary body corporate representative may only vote on a matter being decided at a parent body corporate meeting if it has been directed to do so by the subsidiary body corporate. The representative must abstain from voting at the parent body corporate meeting if it does not receive any directions on the matter.
If you disagree with the result of a vote
When a resolution has been voted on, a person who is at the meeting and who voted on the matter can request a poll to be taken. If a poll is requested, the votes are re-counted according to ownership interest. This means that each vote is weighted according to each voter’s ownership interest and a person with a larger ownership interest will have more of a say than a person with a smaller ownership interest. The result of the poll then becomes the result of the resolution on that matter.
Alternatively, any person who votes against a resolution that is passed can apply for relief on grounds the resolution is unjust or inequitable for the minority. This type of application must be made within 28 days of the resolution being passed.
Any person voting for a special resolution that is not passed but received at least 65% voting support can apply to have the resolution confirmed on the grounds that the effect of it not being passed would be unjust or inequitable on the majority.
Some resolutions concern specific matters relating to key individual and common property rights. These resolutions are known as designated resolutions. Unit owners and others with an interest in the development have the right to object to designated resolutions using a different process from the one described above.
Designated resolutions has more information.
Unit title disputes has more information about resolving disputes.