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Owner-requisitioned meetings are called by the owners of the condo corporation. They can catch your board unawares, as they often involve “touchy” topics. If your board receives a meeting requisition, it’s important to respond on time. Here’s how to effectively manage owner-requisitioned meetings.
Why are Owner-requisitioned Meetings Called?
The most common reasons owners call a meeting include:
- The removal and replacement of a director before the end of their term
- Voting on a new rule
- Discussion of emerging issues
Because your community is diverse, disagreements on board decisions should be expected. Owner participation is a good thing as long as your board remains open to discussion.
Can Owner-requisitioned Meetings Override Board Decisions?
Although votes can take place at an owner-requisitioned meeting, they can’t overturn board decisions. The only way this can happen is if the Condo Act specifies this is acceptable. This might include owners wanting to vote on new rules proposed by the board. Owners often call meetings when they disagree with board decisions. Non-binding owner votes present the board with reason to reconsider their decisions. As a result, meetings often provide insight to boards. If owners vote overwhelmingly against a decision, you might be out of touch with owner needs.
How Should the Board Respond to a Meeting Request?
Once you receive a requisition, the board must either add the topic to the agenda for the next AGM or call a meeting within 35 days. The owner request will specify which they prefer. Within five days the board must send a preliminary notice to all condo owners. Then 20 days before the meeting a final notice including a copy of the requisition and any proposed changes is sent to owners. If you fail to respond, the requisitionists have the right to call the meeting themselves. Your board must reimburse owners for costs associated with the meeting.
How is the Meeting Conducted?
The meeting can only proceed if 25 percent of the unit owners attend. You discuss the topics and if required, the vote will take place following the discussion. The number of votes required depends on the proposed action:
- Proposed rules need a majority vote of those in attendance
- Director removal needs over 50 per cent of the voting units in the corporation to be in favour of removal
People unable to attend can vote by proxy using the mandatory proxy form. In the case of voting to remove a board member, owners can nominate candidates and vote to fill the vacancy. Keep in mind, the new director’s term only runs until the removed director’s term would end.
How to Keep the Meeting Productive
Owner-requisitioned meetings tend to cause conflict. To ensure the meeting is productive, board members should try to find common ground with the owners. Avoid being defensive and instead try to be constructive. Prepare reasons to support your decisions as owners might not understand the reasons behind tough decisions. Having the property manager present can keep everything organized. This is even more important for topics that are sensitive or contentious. They will ensure you remain compliant with the Condo Act while also acting as a mediator.
At CPO Property Management Inc, one of leading property management companies in Toronto and the GTA that specializes in condo management, we have over 10 years’ experience to help resolve the conflict between owners and condo boards. For more information on our services click here or reach out to our team today.