The tenant representative

The current NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 will shortly be replaced by new legislation that has introduced a novel concept of a tenant representative who will sit on the executive committee of the owners corporation.

The procedure works like this:

• The person who convenes an AGM of an owners corporation that has tenants for at least half of the number of lots in the scheme must also convene a meeting of eligible tenants for the purpose of nominating a person for the position of tenant representative on the committee;
• This person must give written notice of the meeting to each eligible tenant at least 21 days before the general meeting and a tenants’ meeting must be held not less than seven days before the AGM;
• The convenor of the meeting is to chair the tenants’ meeting;
• An eligible tenant may nominate for, or nominate another eligible tenant for, nomination as the tenant representative at the AGM;
• To be an eligible tenant, the tenant must be a tenant notified in a tenancy notice given in accordance with the Act. A tenant representative will cease to be a tenant representative if the person ceases to be a tenant of a lot in the strata scheme.

However, the tenant representative on a committee is, in that capacity:

• not entitled to vote on decisions of the Committee or to put a motion or nominate a person for office, and
• not entitled to act as an officer of the owners corporation for committee purposes, and
• not entitled to be counted in determining whether there is a quorum of the committee.

In addition, the committee may determinate that a tenant representative is not entitled to be present when the following matters are being discussed and determined:

(a) financial statements and auditors’ reports;
(b) levying of contributions;
(c) recovery of unpaid contributions;
(d) a strata renewal proposal;
(e) any other financial matter specified by the committee.

Personally, I find the concept of a tenant representative somewhat bizarre. What real say do they have when they have no vote and can be excluded from attending the key committee meetings? Looks to me like a government pandering to a part of the electorate but really giving them nothing!

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