As a Resident Manager with a lot invested in your accommodation property, both emotionally and financially, the temptation may certainly be there to influence general meeting voting as much as you can to ensure you achieve what you feel is the best result overall for the property.
However, as pointed out in a very informative article by Robert Walker, the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, in a recent edition of Accomnews, Resident Managers need to be very careful about the extent and means they use to lobby unit owners for their support for motions submitted to a general meeting.
Some have been in the practice of collating voting papers for owners prior to providing to the general meeting, of offering to fill out voting forms for owners and of circulation sample voting papers and voting recommendations.
Whilst the legislation does not address the rights and wrongs of lobbying for owner’s support, it does set out some specific provisions, which as a Resident Manager lobbying your owners, you would have to ensure that you don’t contravene.
In particular there is a requirement for voting papers to be returned to the appropriate party only (which differs according to whether it is a secret or open ballot) and not through a third party.
Failure to adhere to the relevant provisions in the legislation may result in a vote being declared invalid. It may jeopardise the validity of the voting outcome and have implications for the resident manager’s engagement and authorisation, should the Body Corporate decide to take action.
Resident Managers who have both caretaking and letting rights are bound by additional regulations to ensure that they do not take unfair advantage of their position.
Ensure that you have a complete understanding of the regulations around this. If you are left in any doubt as to whether you may be contravening any of these regulations, you should seek legal advice before continuing with your actions.
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