The meaning of a requirement in the Unit Title Regulations to give “at least 1 weeks’ notice” to owners of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) has been determined by the High Court in a decision on 29 April 2016.
Notice of EGM was given by the York Street Apartments Body Corporate on Wednesday the 26th November 2014. The EGM took place on Wednesday 3 December 2014. Was that at least 1 weeks’ notice or not?
The Tenancy Tribunal thought this was sufficient notice – the Tribunal excluded the day of the meeting but included the day the notice was given. The District Court disagreed and decided seven clear days was required i.e. the notice would have needed to have been issued on the Tuesday 25th November. The High Court agreed with the Tenancy Tribunal. They referred to the Interpretation Act 1999 and agreed that the day of the notice counts, so at least 1 weeks’ notice was given here.
The decision will be relevant to other notices required prior to an AGM and EGM. The wording used in other sections e.g. notice requirements for disclosure by sellers of unit title property, is different. So this decision is not directly relevant to that.
The underlying issue here was that one of the York Street Apartment owners was concerned with the manner in which remediation work was being undertaken. The meeting was critical given decisions were made which would be binding upon everyone if the meeting was properly convened. As it turned out 58 out of the 60 owners participated in the meeting in question either in person or by proxy. Those parties who were querying the notice period had attended and participated but did note that they were attending under protest.
For those organising and running body corporate meetings it’s clarification of exactly how much notice needs to be given, but also another reminder that there are now prescriptive procedural requirements that need to be complied with strictly.