Apartment Living


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Flat Chat


Running the executive committee of an apartment building is politics at its most fundamental level. Most ECs get along OK, but all it takes is one person to upset the applecart and it's all on for young and old.

QUESTION: My husband and I own two units in a 30-unit block and I've been on the EC since the building was completed. My husband didn't nominate for the EC as it didn't seem right for two people from one family to be on it.

Now that the building is fully occupied, there are eight on the EC. The chairman also owns two units and she has given a proxy to her mother who joined the EC at our last AGM. So now the chairman effectively has two votes.

My neighbour also owns two units in the building and would like to be on the EC as would three other owner-occupiers. But there is only one vacancy to be filled at our AGM.

Is the chairman allowed to have her mum on the EC, depriving others of a say in how the building is run?

Outvoted, Kirribilli

ANSWER: There is nothing to stop the legitimate owner of a second property from nominating another person as a proxy member of an executive committee.

However, much more significant is the fact that ALL positions on an EC fall vacant at an AGM and incumbent members have to re-nominate and stand for election against any others who may want to be on it.

In other words, you start every year with a blank slate (although an election only takes place if there are more candidates than there are seats).

The most effective way to win back control is to put together a "ticket" of at least five like-minded owners (or proxy nominees) who are prepared to sit on the EC, then drum up as many legitimate votes as you can get from other owners to support the whole ticket at the AGM.

You need to track down as many proxy votes as you can get as the chairman will certainly have a few by default. But if you have enough support you can roll the opposition, regardless of how many of their rellies they nominate.

First published SMH June 2007