Sections 19(2) to 19(4) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 (the Act) deal with qualified requests. A request is a qualified request if it is made by one or more owners of a lot or lots in the strata scheme which have a total unit entitlement of at least one-quarter of the aggregate unit entitlements.
This means that if you hold 25% of the unit entitlement in the scheme or have obtained the support of lot owners that make up 25% of the unit entitlement in the scheme, you can make a written request to the secretary of the owners corporation to convene an extraordinary general meeting rather than wait for your scheme’s next annual general meeting.
Section 19(2) of the Act provides that an extraordinary general meeting must be convened within 14 days of receiving a qualified request.
If you have made a qualified request but the owners corporation fails to convene an extraordinary general meeting, section 20 of the Act provides that you can make an application to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for an order that the extraordinary general meeting be convened.
If you make a qualified request the owners corporation cannot charge you for the cost of organising and holding the extraordinary general meeting. This is because the Act provides that an extraordinary general meeting must be convened when a qualified request is made and by convening the extraordinary general meeting the owners corporation is simply discharging its duties as required by the Act.
This can be distinguished from section 19(1) of the Act which is the other way an extraordinary general meeting can be convened. The section provides that the secretary or a strata committee of an owners corporation may convene an extraordinary general meeting of the owners corporation at any time. The convening of this type of extraordinary general meeting is at the discretion of the secretary or a strata committee. If you make a request for the secretary or a strata committee to convene a meeting and your item is the only substantive one on the agenda, for example, you need a by-law passed to authorise works to your lot, the secretary or a strata committee may require you to pay the costs of organising and holding the extraordinary general meeting before they agree to exercise their discretion to convene the extraordinary general meeting.
Article by Jasmin H. Singh and Allison Benson.