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Does my owners corporation need a committee?
An owners corporation (formerly body corporate) with 13 or more lots must elect a committee at each annual general meeting.
Owners corporations with fewer than 13 lots may elect a committee if they choose to, but it is not mandatory.
If your owners corporation does not have a committee, the lot owners must elect a chairperson. The lot owners can also agree to engage a professional owners corporation manager to coordinate daily affairs, including collecting and banking fees, arranging property maintenance and organising meetings. However, a manager cannot be delegated matters that the Act states must be decided by a unanimous resolution, special resolution, or by a resolution made at a general meeting. For more information, view our Working with your owners corporation manager page.
A committee must have:
- must be lot owners or hold a proxy for a lot owner
- once elected, hold office until a new committee is elected.
There can only be one committee member for each lot.
A lot owner, or anyone acting as a proxy for a lot owner, may nominate for election as a committee member before or at the annual general meeting. Use our Owners corporation committee nomination (Word, 49KB).
The committee can:
- invite owners corporation members to join the committee if there is a vacancy
- appoint sub-committees
- invite other lot owners or proxies of lot owners to advise and assist in carrying out its functions and powers. Sub-committees and invited members cannot vote as part of the committee.
The owners corporation may, at an annual general meeting or special general meeting, resolve to add or remove a committee member or replace or remove a committee.
Duties of committee members and volunteer managers
A member of an owners corporation committee or sub-committee must:
- act honestly and in good faith
- exercise due care and diligence
- not make improper use of his or her position as a member to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for themselves or for any other person
- report to the owners corporation at each annual general meeting.
Immunity of committee members
If you serve on an owners corporation committee, the law gives you some protection from liability if you acted in good faith:
- in exercising a power or carrying out a function under the Owners Corporations Act 2006, regulations or rules, or
- in the reasonable belief that the act or omission was in the course of exercising a power or carrying out a function under the Owners Corporations Act 2006, regulations or rules.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal can order that the owners corporation is liable for an act or omission by a committee member, sub-committee member or volunteer manager. For their own protection, committee members should:
- ensure that decisions and activities are always recorded in minutes of a meeting
- submit minutes of all committee meetings to the owners corporation as part of the committee’s report at every annual general meeting
- ensure new committee members are given copies of the legislation and attend training or other information sessions
- act in accordance with the Owners Corporations Act 2006, regulations or rules.
Removing committee members
Lot owners can add or remove a committee member by ordinary resolution at an annual general meeting or a special general meeting, which requires support from at least 50 per cent of lots or lot entitlements. Members may also be removed by an ordinary resolution of the committee if they are absent from 25 per cent or more of committee meetings within a six month period, without giving prior notice or a reasonable explanation for their absence.
If there is a casual vacancy on a committee, the remaining members of the committee can invite another lot owner, or a person holding a proxy for a lot owner to be a member of the committee.
The vacancy does not have to be filled if three or more members remain on the committee.
Proxies in decision-making
Lot owners are allowed to appoint a proxy to represent them on the committee. These proxies can be used:
- for a person other than the lot owner to be elected to the committee
- to allow a person to represent the committee member if the committee member will be absent (for example, because they are ill).
Notices of committee meetings must advise that a lot owner can appoint a proxy.
Meetings – quorums, procedures and minutes
A ‘quorum’ is the minimum number of members needed to transact business at a meeting. A quorum for a committee meeting is at least 50 per cent of the committee members.
When there is no quorum at the meeting, the committee can make interim resolutions. These do not take effect unless either:
- confirmed at the next committee meeting when a quorum is present
- confirmed by a ballot of committee members
- procedures set out in the rules about interim committee decisions are followed.
If the votes are equally split, the chairperson has the deciding vote.
A committee meeting may be called by the:
- owners corporation
- chairperson of the committee
- secretary of the committee
- manager of the owners corporation
- delegate of the owners corporation.
Use the Notice of owners corporation committee meeting (Word, 47KB).
The secretary must prepare the Owners corporation committee nomination (Word, 49KB), which must:
- be sent out at least three days before the meeting or as determined by the owners corporation
- set out the time and place of the meeting
- include an agenda.
Committees can make decisions by a ballot or at meetings by a show of hands. Committee members have one vote each.
A ballot cannot close until 14 days after notice of the ballot, but if a majority of the committee vote in favour of the motion before the closing date, it is deemed to have passed.
Use our Sample rule for a ballot to elect an owners corporation committee (Word, 39KB).
For information on minutes of committee meeting, view our Running meetings - owners corporations page.