Many condominium corporations have either passed new by-laws or may be in the process of amending their by-laws and will have faced the challenge of getting the required number of unit votes to confirm those by-laws.
Techniques have been developed so that if it appears that the by-law will not pass due to either lack of attendance or support, the meeting can be adjourned before the vote takes place, to a later date and the proxies can be collected and used for the continued meeting.
In a recent Court of Appeal decision, The Owners, Strata Plan NW971 v. Daniels, the British Columbia Court of Appeal found that the procedure established under Robert's Rules of Order to "reconsider the vote" before the vote had been recorded in the minutes was proper and that no formal notice of the continuation meeting was required.
This case involved an owners meeting which was called to pass a special resolution to increase the Strata Corporation's budget and to approve an expenditure of $390,000 on remediation work. This required that a vote of three-quarters majority vote at the meeting (B.C. Legislation). Only ninety-five (95) of one hundred and twenty two (122) of the eligible voters were present at the meeting and the vote required seventy two (72) in favour of the resolution. The vote took place and the vote was sixty-nine (69) in favour and twenty-five (25) opposed.
At the meeting, the Secretary who had voted against the special resolution, made a motion to "reconsider and enter on the minutes". This is a procedure in Robert's Rules of Order which allows a vote to be reconsidered before the vote is recorded in the minutes.
The chair adjourned the meeting for one week and a second meeting was then held the following week. One Hundred and Nine (109) of the eligible voters attended the second meeting and the minutes recorded this meeting as a continuation of the first meeting. The vote resulted in eighty-three (83) units in favour of the special assessment and the resolution passed.
I find this decision useful for two reasons:
- It revealed a possible technique to use when condominium corporations want to obtain a successful vote in favour of a by-law or substantial alteration to the common elements.
- It also provides guidance on how to call adjourned meetings, noting that no formal notice of the adjourned meeting is required.