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Preparing For Your Body Corporate AGM?
If you’re new to body corporate or community living you may have heard of Annual General Meetings (AGMs) but have little idea what they’re really all about. Here’s everything you need to know before you attend your first meeting.
What is an AGM?
A ‘General Meeting’ is a meeting of all of the members of the body corporate, called in accordance with the requirements of the Unit Titles Act. A body corporate must have at least one meeting every year, which will be referred to as the ‘Annual General Meeting’ or ‘AGM’. If a body corporate holds a General Meeting at any other time during the year, it will normally be referred to as an ‘Extraordinary General Meeting’ or ‘EGM’. General meetings are an opportunity for unit owners to talk about any issues and vote on decisions.
In order for the decisions to be binding on all owners, there is a certain amount of formality that is necessary in the process both prior to and at the meeting. It may feel daunting if you haven’t attended one of these meetings before, but don’t let that stop you from participating in your community. The following tips may help you get prepared and confident ahead of your first meeting.
What Should You Expect to See in the Lead Up to Your AGM?
There are some formal steps in the process to calling an AGM, and they are broadly as follows:
Notice of Intention to Hold AGM: this gives formal notice that the meeting will be held. In order for the agenda and nominations for the Chair and Committee to be known in advance of the meeting, this is your opportunity to nominate others for role of Chair, and yourself or others for the Committee, and to get matters on the list for discussion at the meeting.
Notice of AGM: this is formal notice of the time, date and location of the meeting, Committee and Chair nominees, and the ‘agenda’, or list of matters to be discussed, of the meeting.
What Should You Do Before Your AGM?
- Send in proposed motions and nominations by the date requested on the Notice of Intention to hold an Annual General Meeting.
- Ensure that you have read all the documents sent to you by the Body Corporate Manager about the meeting. There are a lot of documents involved in an AGM, so in the interests of saving paper and the planet, meeting materials will mostly be provided only in electronic form. If you feel you need a hard copy of anything, print it and take it with you – or take a device on which you can refer to the documents if you need them.
- Familiarise yourself with the Agenda, financial accounts, insurance quote(s) and the budget sent to you, before the meeting. If you have questions, it’s really helpful to provide those ahead of the meeting.
- If you can’t attend in person, complete and send the proxy voting form or the Postal Voting Form ahead of the meeting, or familiarise yourself with the technology that will be used if attending virtually is offered. General meetings must have a minimum attendance of 25% of the votes of the BC in attendance to proceed – so if you can’t attend in person or virtually, fill in the form called a ‘proxy form’. You can direct how you want to vote on the items on the agenda or give your proxy – the person who attends on your behalf – the ability to decide at the meeting.
- Arrive in plenty of time for the start of the meeting so that your BC secretary knows you’re attending, and you have a chance to chat to your neighbours.
- Enter your details on the attendance register, including your name and your unit number(s).
- When you are moving and seconding motions clearly identify your name and unit number to the Chairperson of the meeting.
- When the Chairperson asks if you vote in favour, against or abstain on a resolution, respond clearly.
- Speak to a motion only once it has been moved and seconded and opened for discussion.
What Shouldn’t You Do at Your AGM?
It’s important not to:
- Arrive late so that you are rushing and begin the meeting in a stressed mindset.
- Be afraid to speak up and move and second motions. Read How Are Decisions Made In a Body Corporate before attending your meeting to familiarise yourself with the process.
- Be afraid to ask where the amenities are.
- Propose a motion that is not on the agenda (unless all members of the body corporate are present.)
- Leave early - you may miss the best part of the meeting!
Your AGM Needs You!
Every member plays an important role in the successful running of the body corporate. Your attendance at meetings is appreciated and valuable, so do take the time to do your research and attend meetings when at all possible. If you are unable to attend a meeting, you can nominate and be represented by another person, or vote by post, to ensure your voice is still heard.
Top Tips For Smooth Meetings
There are many general rules that will help your meeting run more smoothly, including everyone treating each other with respect and sharing out tasks. Crockers’ Top Tips for Committees contains lots of advice that is helpful for all Body Corporate members.
If you’d like some further advice on the running of successful AGMs or you're in the market for a great Body Corporate manager, contact our Body Corp Community Living experts on 09 968 3311 or email email@example.com.