One of the reasons we produce these newsletters is that they can be used to debunk what we regard as myths in the management rights industry.
One of our previous newsletters dealt with the lawful ability of resident managers to lobby owners at general meetings. To read this article click here.
By now, most resident managers probably know that while they are automatically elected as members of the committee each year, they do not have a right to vote at committee meetings. The body corporate manager has the same position (i.e. automatically part of the committee but not able to vote).
Of course, the difference between a body corporate manager and a resident manager is that the resident manager usually has as big an investment as anyone in the entire scheme, and will normally own at least one lot. Despite this, a resident manager still cannot be a voting committee member, as any other lot owner could. It might not be fair, but it is the current legal position.
So a resident manager cannot vote at committee meetings.
It is not the same position at general meetings.
A resident manager has the same right as any other owner to exercise votes at general meetings. Resident managers can exercise votes in favour of motions they actually put up. There is no prohibition on a resident manager (or in fact any owner) from voting at general meeting upon any motion, irrespective of their interest in the subject matter of the motion. That interest doesn’t even have to be disclosed (which is quite different from voting on a committee level).
Legislation prevents the use of proxies when voting on certain motions. That does not impact on your personal right to vote – just whether you can use the votes of others in favour of those motions.
Rest assured, if you have a lot, you have the same voting rights at general meeting as every other owner. If you have more than one lot, you can exercise a vote for each of those lots.
In the quasi-democracy that is a body corporate, each vote counts and you should make sure that you exercise yours if you have the opportunity to do so.