As it becomes more and more obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic will require a long term strategy, it’s crucial that strata communities are thinking about how they can get through this period.
The one constant of this pandemic has been disruption, with many changes to our everyday lives. The team at Ace wants to ensure disruption doesn’t lead to disfunction in your community.
AGMs are the hub of strata community decision-making and it’s important this this yearly event not be completely thrown out of the calendars of strata property owners and communities nationwide.
With the focus firmly on avoiding large groupings of people, in favour of self-isolating, strata communities may need to rethink community meetings in the short term.
To use pandemic terminology, AGMs are ‘essential’ business in the strata community and where possible, we must innovate to keep these meetings ‘online’.
Ace has over 130 body corporate territories nationwide, managing over 65,000 lots and we’ve pulled some insights from our national team to help make sure your community can keep your AGM date during the coronavirus pandemic.
Below is a step by step guide put together with the help of our strata managers to help you and your community.
In the past the biggest barrier for general meeting participation has been ‘time-poor’ owners and community members; but this is no longer the case. The pandemic’s economic impact means that the majority of the working population is at home, with some time on their hands to participate.
If your community decides that it wants to use video/teleconferencing facilities to run your AGM, we recommend considering the following;
Another option on the table for communities hoping to keep their AGM date this year will be to facilitate voting outside of the meeting. Many of us has submitted postal votes before for local, state/territory or federal elections – and this is even easier. Either via email, phone or letter, community members can still participate in AGMs.
The body corporate community has been set up to manage ‘remote’ relationships with interstate and foreign property investors for years, so communities do not need to re-invent the wheel.
In the event that it’s decided that your community meeting will go ahead, with limited face-to-face attendees, an owner can delegate their voting rights to another person, who becomes their proxy.
This will be a novel way for communities unable or unwilling to pursue options 1 & 2 to adhere to social distancing measures. An owner can make any person their proxy, including their tenant. Proxies must be given to the Secretary before or at the meeting. For large schemes, the proxy must be given to the Secretary at least 24 hours before the scheduled meeting.
All hope is not lost if the above options are not suitable for your strata community.
If you wish to discuss any strata community coronavirus concerns further with an Ace Body Corporate manager, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or undertake your own research on this matter. Please use the links above in the Education section to access up to date health authority information.