In the past, proxies were commonly used in the unit title setting. Developers would provide for them in sale contracts. Property managers would include them in leases of serviced apartments. It gave the developers and the managers the opportunity to control decisions made by the body corporate.
These provisions are now of little use given the requirements of the Unit Titles Regulations 2011.
Proxies are permitted by s 104 of the Unit Titles Act 2010 but their use has been restricted by regulation 14. The regulation provides:
1. a proxy is appointed for a particular general meeting.
2. a proxy appointment expires –
(a) at the end of the general meeting for which the appointment is made; or
(b) if that meeting is adjourned at the end of the reconvened meeting.
3. a proxy appointment may be revoked at any time before it expires.”
To deal with this, powers of attorney are likely to be increasingly used. It is clear following a court decision that a power of attorney can be used to grant a proxy (Lihua Limited v Body Corporate 366611, Theta Management Limited, BCS Limited CIV-2012-404-000937).
That case related to a lease which included an irrevocable appointment of the lessee as the owner’s attorney “to appoint the lessor’s proxy for a general meeting, and/or exercise the lessor’s voting and other rights and functions relating to the operation and control of the body corporate…”
The court accepted a proxy could be given in this manner.
By Debra Dorrington