Role of chairperson - owners corporations

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Role

An owners corporation (formerly body corporate) committee must elect a chairperson. Your committee may not be legal if it fails to elect a chairperson.

The chairperson also becomes the owners corporation chairperson.

The chairperson’s role is to run meetings in a way that encourages decisions. The chairperson should allow fair and open discussion of matters and stick to the agenda, so that decisions can be made.

If there is no committee, the owners corporation chairperson must be a lot owner.

The chairperson:

  • does not have any decision-making powers unless delegated in writing by the owners corporation or committee. Delegated powers recorded in the minutes and set out in an Instrument of delegation - owners corporations (Word, 64KB)
  • can prepare or supervise preparation of notices, agenda, ballot papers and minutes.

Duties

A chairperson must:

  • be the chairperson of both the committee and the owners corporation
  • have an Instrument of delegation - owners corporations (Word, 64KB) from the owners corporation or the committee
  • act on the directions of the owners corporation
  • act on the directions of the committee
  • act honestly and in good faith, exercise due care and diligence and not make improper use of his or her position
  • if there is a committee, present its report at the annual general meeting
  • be a financial member of the owners corporation.

Powers

The chairperson has the power to:

  • convene the annual general meeting
  • convene a special general meeting
  • arrange a ballot
  • make the casting vote at a general or committee meeting when the count is equal.

The chairperson does not have any special powers to make decisions on behalf of the owners corporation, committee or lot owners. But the owners corporation can choose to delegate powers to the chairperson.

Any delegated powers must be recorded in the minutes and set out in an Instrument of delegation - owners corporations (Word, 64KB). For example, the owners corporation can resolve that the chairperson is responsible for checking and recording proxies, and supervising ballots and polls.

Skills required

The role of a chairperson requires significant care and skills including:

  • time management (for example, starting and ending a meeting on time)
  • people management (for example, keeping control of meetings)
  • a high level of organisation.

The chairperson should also have a sound knowledge of the Owners Corporations Act 2006, the Owners Corporations Regulations 2007, and any other relevant legislation.

Tips to be an effective owners corporation chairperson

  • Always have all relevant documents at the meeting. This includes a copy of the Owners Corporations Act 2006, Owners Corporations Regulations 2007, the rules of your owners corporation, a copy of the plan of subdivision and the minutes of previous meetings.
  • Make rules or set clear, mutually agreeable guidelines for conduct before the meeting.
  • Be prepared and keep to the agenda.
  • Place reasonable limits on discussions.
  • Break large tasks down into smaller tasks, for review at a later meeting.

Who can chair a general meeting?

The chairperson of the owners corporation is required to chair a general meeting, but if this person:

  • is absent, then your owners corporation can elect a lot owner or the owners corporation manager to chair that particular general meeting
  • does not wish to chair the meeting, another lot owner or the manager may be elected by the lot owners present to run proceedings.

The owners corporation can also authorise the manager or a lot owner to assist the chairperson. But responsibility still rests with the chairperson.

Decisions to authorise a lot owner or the manager to assist or act as the chairperson must be recorded in the minutes.

Who can chair a committee meeting?

If the committee chairperson is absent or unable to act, the:

  • committee members may appoint another lot owner to act as the chairperson
  • owners corporation manager can assist the chairperson.

Such a decision must be recorded in the minutes.

Removing the chairperson

Where there is no committee, the chairperson of an owners corporation can only be removed by an ordinary resolution at the annual general meeting or a special general meeting.

Where there is a committee, the chairperson can be removed by a majority vote of the committee. Removal of the chairperson does not affect their committee membership.