In this seventh episode of our communal property essentials series I am going to discuss the process of electing the management committee for your Building or Resort. Who can be on the committee, the different roles of the committee members and what to do if no one volunteers?
Episode 7 of our Communal Property Essentials Series.
In this seventh episode of our communal property essentials series I am going to discuss the election of the Management Committee. Who can be on the committee, the different roles of the committee members and what to do if no one volunteers?
The management committee are responsible to co-ordinate the maintenance and management of the communal areas of the building. Their primary role is performing the administration of the communal accounts, obtaining insurance, setting the budget, organising maintenance and pursuing non-paying unit owners.
Who can be on the management committee?
The management committee is made up of individuals or legal entities who volunteer their time and expertise to the management and administration of the communal property.
Any person or even a legal entity such as a limited company can be elected onto the management committee by the unit owners.
The committee must have between 1 to a maximum of 5 individual members. If you have a small committee of 1 or two members, they must be unit owners. But providing you have a committee of 3 to 5 members anyone can be elected onto the management committee. For example, I am on a number of management committees as a independent specialist even though I do not own units in those resorts.
While you can elect anyone to your management committee, and this is the temptation to accept anyone who volunteers their time, its important to recognise the responsibility and powers the committee have, so choose your committee members wisely. You want people who are helpful, trustworthy and have the necessary time and skill to be a positive influence on your building and resort.
Different Committee Roles?
Generally the committee is made up of a President, who is not the sole decision maker but is there to break the tie and have a casting vote in the event of a tie committee vote. The committee president generally has the role of organising the AGM and is proposed to be the AGM president to hosting the Annual General Meeting. However, if you employ a communal management professional or use an AGM Done for You service, they will likely host the AGM as part of their duties.
You then have a Committee Treasurer who is responsible for the supervision of the communal finances. If you hire a professional communal property manager, the treasurer’s role is generally oversight of that manager. However, if your committee selects to self-manage your property then the treasures role can be quite intensive as it would include setting budgets, setting the communal fee, dealing with payment to suppliers, issuing receipts, collecting communal fees, chasing debt and producing monthly summary reports along with the annual financial report.
Many committees will designate one of the management committee members as the secretary. The role of a committee secretary is to be the direct contact for any unit owners who wish to ask any questions or submit complaints. The secretary is also responsible for keeping all the development records and taking minutes of all committee meetings. The committee secretary is also usually designated to be the AGM secretary and be responsible to recording the AGM minutes.
How are the management committee Elected?
The Election of the Management Committee takes place at a properly formed AGM. This is why it is so important to make sure your AGM follows the strict rules of the immovable property regulations as if the AGM is invalidated the elections and votes that took place during that meeting will also be invalidated.
The process of election is usually by a show of hands of those eligible to vote at the meeting (which is basically every unit that is represented and paid up with their fees).
However, it can be requested for a formal vote, where every unit vote will count for more or less depending on their share of the jointly owned property. If you have a copy of my book The Ultimate Committee Handbook I cover how to perform and calculate this method of voting in the AGM chapters.
What is the Term Length of a committee member?
By design the term of each committee member is roughly one year. At each Annual General Meeting all positions on the committee are automatically vacated and a new committee needs to be elected by the unit owners for the next year.
There is nothing to stop members of the committee putting themselves forward for re-election and it is quite common for committee members to hold that position for many years. But they must be re-elected at each annual general meeting.
What if no one volunteers?
It always surprises me that many apartment buildings, developments and resorts struggle to get people to volunteer to be on the management committee. To me this is crazy as I don’t know why so many unit owners underestimate the importance of the committee and recognise the benefit on having a far more direct role in how their valuable property investment is operated, managed and maintained.
But if you do find yourself without even one committee member and no one putting their hand up then one of your building’s unit owners should inform the local land registry department. e
The regulations allow in the event there is no committee and a new Election of the Management Committee has not taken place the director of the land registry can intervene.
So, we have covered the basics on the committee and how they are elected, we now need to cover what records you need to prove the legitimacy of your committee and any requirements for its registration. And that is exactly the subject of the next episode of my communal property essentials video series.
Ultimate Committee Handbook
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