FAQs: Voting & Governance

Our strata corporation has a council member who is not on title to the strata lot, however, she is the spouse of the strata lot owner. May she be a council member?

 

 

According to section 28 of the Strata Property Act, a council member must be: (1) an owner; or (2) a representative of a corporate owner; or (3) a tenant with a written assignment of an owner’s right to be on council; or (4) a different class of person that has been given the right to stand for council by authority of a duly passed bylaw of the strata corporation. Since the person on council is not an owner and not a tenant and assuming that the strata corporation does not have a bylaw that allows spouses to stand for council, she is not authorized to be on council.

If every owner who attends a general meeting votes in favour of a resolution. Is that a unanimous vote?

No. A unanimous vote under the Strata Property Act is a vote in favour of a resolution by all the votes of all eligible voters. Every eligible voter in the strata corporation must cast a vote in favour of the resolution in order for the vote to be a unanimous vote.

May the strata corporation ban proxies?

No. A person is permitted to vote in person or by proxy.

If there are 40 eligible voters present in person or by proxy at a general meeting and 8 abstain from voting, how many votes are required to pass a resolution by a 3/4 vote?

The definition of 3/4 vote tells us that abstentions do not count as votes cast. If there are 40 eligible voters present in person or by proxy and 8 abstain from voting, then to pass a resolution by a 3/4 vote requires 75% of 32 not 75% of 40.

Is a proxy a record of the strata corporation that must be provided to an owner on written request?

No. A proxy is not a record of the strata corporation. The strata corporation must check that the proxy is in writing and is signed by the owner. The strata corporation is not entitled to keep a proxy or ensure that the proxy holder votes in compliance with any conditions stated on the proxy by the owner.

May a strata manager hold a proxy?

No. Section 56 of the Strata Property Act states that a person who provides strata management services to a strata corporation may hold a proxy if permitted by the Regulations to the Strata Property Act. There is nothing in the Regulations that permits a strata manager to hold a proxy. Therefore, a strata manager may not hold a proxy.

If the strata corporation is the owner of a strata lot, who exercises the vote for that strata lot?

No one.

Our strata corporation is entering into a contract to repaint the exterior of our building. The contract refers to the complex as Mountain Oaks, which is our building name. What is our strata corporation's legal name for purposes of a contract?

Pursuant to section 2 of the Strata Property Act, the owners of the strata lots in the strata plan are members of the strata corporation under the name “The Owners, Strata Plan [insert the registration number of the strata plan].

May council members be paid to perform their duties?

Yes, but any remuneration paid to a strata council member for performing council duties must be approved in advance of any payment in the annual budget or in the bylaws or by a resolution passed by a 3/4 vote at an annual or special general meeting.

How much notice is required before holding a special general meeting?

The strata corporation must give 2 weeks’ written notice of an annual or special general meeting. However, if the notice is delivered by slipping it under the strata lot door or by leaving it with a person who happens to answer the door or by mailing it or faxing it, then the notice is not conclusively deemed to be delivered for 4 days additional days. When calculating whether a strata corporation has provided 4 days for deemed delivery, do not count the day that you send the notice. Therefore, the notice period for a special or annual general meeting is actually 19 days.

If a council member is not available to attend a council meeting, may the council member give his/her proxy to another?

No, a council member may not attend a council meeting by proxy.

A number of owners who live outside the strata plan are sending in their proxies by email because they do not have a fax machine and therefore the proxies are not on the "official" proxy form that was sent out with notice of the general meeting. The owners state the purpose of the proxy and to whom it is given. When we print out the email, it includes their return email address. Is that sufficient to meet the needs for a proxy?

No. Section 56 of the Strata Property Act states that a proxy must be in writing and signed by the person appointing the proxy. Unless a proxy delivered by email is signed by the person appointing the proxy, it is not valid. The Act does not require certain wording or a prescribed form of proxy. The Act has an optional Form A that may be used as a form of proxy. A proxy may be delivered by fax or email, provided that it is signed by the person appointing the proxy. The signature need not be an original signature.

An owner gives a Power of Attorney to a friend to manage the owner's affairs with respect to their strata lot. May the person with the Power of Attorney stand for election to council?

No. A person given a Power of Attorney by an owner has a duty to the owner to act in the best interests of the owner. A council member has a duty to act in the best interests of the strata corporation. The duty of the person with the Power of Attorney is in conflict with the duty of a council member.

May the spouse of an owner who is not on title to a strata lot stand for council?

In order for the spouse of an owner who is not an owner to stand for council, the strata corporation must have a bylaw that permits the spouse of an owner to stand for council.

May a strata corporation prevent an owner from voting if the strata lot is in arrears of strata fees?

Yes, but the strata corporation must have a bylaw that states that the vote for a strata lot may not be exercised if the strata corporation is entitled to register a lien. In that case, the owner may not vote.

At a recent special general meeting, everyone at the meeting voted in favour of the resolution. Is that a unanimous vote?

No. A unanimous vote is a defined term in the Strata Property Act. A unanimous vote is a vote in favour of a resolution by all the votes of all the eligible voters. If not all the eligible voters cast a vote at the meeting, then it is not a unanimous vote.

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