Preparing your motion for a vote
Large and important decisions about your building need to be voted on by all apartment owners in either an annual general meeting (AGM) or extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
You’ll need to get the project on the agenda by submitting a motion with your business case attached. Your motion will be voted on and either passed as a ‘resolution’ or rejected.
Preparing a motion
View our example motions to get a better sense of how motions read.
If you need to prepare a motion then write it with these guidelines in mind:
- The motion must contain a clear statement of action, and its full substance must be included in the agenda of the AGM or EGM
- Motions should start with “that”, for example, “That the incandescent light bulbs on common property be replaced with CFLs”
- Be specific in the motion about whether owners are just voting to "start the investigations” or actually “approve the project”
- Be specific in the motion about the timeframe that the investigations or the actual work will commence and end
- Your motion should be accompanied by an explanatory note which supports and explains the proposed motion
- Attach your business case document to the motion and provide two quotes if it proposes spending more than a few hundred dollars
- If a motion conflicts with the strata scheme legislation in your state then the motion can be ruled out of order
- If a motion conflicts with one of the by-laws in your building then the motion can be ruled out of order so you should submit an additional motion to amend the applicable by-law at the same time
The onus will be on you to provide the motion in the correct format although your strata manager may be able to offer some guidance. Some people choose to have their motions either prepared or reviewed by a solicitor prior to submitting them.
Sending the motion
For your motion to be included on the agenda of a meeting you must send it to your strata manager or the secretary of your executive committee. Identify yourself as the person who has submitted the motion, and state how the motion should be passed: an ordinary resolution, a special resolution, or a unanimous resolution.
Remember to attach your business case; including quotes, suggestions for funding and other supporting documentation.
Written notice must be given to the strata manager or secretary of your executive committee about six weeks out from the date of the meeting. The secretary should then put the full details of the motion on the agenda for the meeting.
Be aware that a motion can sometimes be amended in a meeting by those entitled to vote at the meeting. If an amendment is moved, it might be seconded, and then adopted by majority vote. It then becomes the new motion for resolution.