When is 21 days not 21 days?
01 Feb 2016
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This isn’t a newsletter that is being sent to our entire database, but just to our body corporate manager subscribers.
We all know a general meeting can only be held after 21 days’ notice has been given to all owners. There are a raft of adjudicator’s decisions that also confirm that the postage time in between the day of the agenda being sent and the day it is received by owners is not included in that 21 days.
That means a notice of a general meeting should be posted to owners no later than 23 days before the meeting date itself (as a minimum).
That was before Australia Post started hemorrhaging money and the Federal Government allowed them to change postage rates and service delivery times.
The new Australia Post delivery times for domestic letters sent by ordinary post are between two to six business days. Even domestic priority post is one to four business days. Normal airmail is three to ten business days.
Note the ‘business days’ reference. Weekends are not included. So, if you posted something domestically on a Monday, it may get there as late as the following Tuesday.
It is worse for overseas owners. Their notices of general meeting may only get to them as late as a week before the meeting itself, leaving little time to consider the resolutions, let alone to send the voting papers back so they are received.
If the state government delivers on some of the electronic voting reforms in the last consultation paper, this may well be lessened as an issue, but in the meantime we can only suggest that all body corporate managers try their best to get notices of meeting out well before the minimum statutory time frame. We would suggest a month would be safest.
We haven’t seen any yet, but the day is surely coming when an owner challenges the validity of a decision taken at general meeting because they didn’t get enough notice with the new Australia Post service delivery timeframes. No one would want to be the test case.
The joys of the world moving faster than legislation can cope with.
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