Meeting of owners 

A Meeting of Owners, (often called a Special General Meeting (SGM) or an extraordinary meeting), can be called either by the board or by a requisition of the owners.

Board calls the meeting
The board may call an owners' meeting for the following reasons:

Information meeting
The board could call a meeting of owners to discuss any issue relating to the corporation they that they feel warrants a meeting.

However, the board does not have to hold a vote on any issue that was placed on the agenda, nor do they have to agree to any changes the owners request.

Minor alterations
If the board decides to make alterations to the common elements and if the estimated costs of the alterations exceeds the greater of $1,000 and 1% of the current annual common expense budget, the board must send a notice of such a change to all the registered owners.

The notice must describe the alteration and must state its estimated cost and the manner in which the board intends to pay. (The alterations must be paid out of the operating funds.)

The notice must specify that, within 30 days of receiving the notice, owners of 15% of the units are entitled to requisition an owners’ meeting to vote on the alteration.

New or amended By-law(s)
When the board wants to add or amend a by-law, the addition or changes must be brought forth at an owner's meeting and passed by the owners of a majority of of the units.

Approval of substantial changes
The board cannot make a substantial addition, alteration, improvement to the common elements, a substantial change in the assets of the corporation or a substantial change in a service that the corporation provides to the owners unless the owners who own at least 66 2/3% of the units vote in favour of approving it at an owners' meeting.

An addition, alteration, improvement or change is substantial if its estimated cost, based on its total cost, regardless of whether part of the cost is incurred before or after the current fiscal year, exceeds 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses for the current fiscal year.

Owners call the meeting
A requisition for a meeting of owners may be made if at least 15% of all the unit owners, who are current with their maintenance fees, sign a petition requesting a meeting. A quorum of 25% plus one of all the units is required to hold the meeting.

The petition must state the nature of the business to be presented at the meeting.

There are several reasons for an owners' meeting to be called including:

Discussing issues
Owners can request a meeting to discuss any issue relating to the corporation they wish. However, aside from the specific situations listed below, the board does not have to hold a vote on any issue brought forward, nor do they have to agree to any changes the owners request nor do they have to discuss the issue in any meaningful way.

They also do not have to answer any questions from the owners or explain the reasoning behind any decisions that they made.

All they have to do is hold the meeting if there is a quorum of at least 25% of all the unit owners in person or by proxy. Nothing more.

Therefore, as examples, the owners cannot force the board to change the budget, reduce or eliminate an increase in the monthly fees or a special assessment, perform any required maintenance, change contractors or fire an employee.

All of the above is the sole responsibility of the board.

If the board announces a new rule, or a change to an existing rule, the proposed rule can be amended or rescinded by a vote of the owners of a simple majority of the units that are in attendance at the meeting.

Is is an important right.

For example, the majority of the board (three persons) can decide to make a rule stating that all pets must be carried at all times when they are on the common elements.

The owners can requisition a meeting to vote on rescinding that rule.

Removal of a director(s)
The owners can remove director(s) at an owners meeting. The removal needs to be approved by the owners of a majority of all units either in person or by proxy.

Collecting signatures
You need a minimum of 15% of all the unit owners to sign your requisition for an owner's meeting. However be aware of the following:

Owners in arrears cannot vote at a owner's meeting nor is their signature valid on a requisition.
If a man or a woman lives in the unit but the unit is in their son's or daughter's name, then their signature is not on the register and is
therefore invalid. (Unless they have a current Power of Attorney.)
Renters cannot sign a requisition.
Some owners will recant their signatures under pressure from the property manager, employees or board members.

If you do not have the required 15% valid signatures, the board does not have to hold a meeting.

Therefore, always collect extra signatures and verify that the signatures are valid when the owners sign the requisition.

top  contents  chapter  previous   next