Annual general meetings and voting rights
Annual general meetings and voting rights
At an AGM, the following items are typically on the agenda:
- approval of the minutes of the previous AGM
- review of year-end audited financial reports (the auditor may be at the meeting to report to owners about the financial health and operations of the corporation)
- selection of the corporation’s auditor for the next fiscal year
- report of the board of directors regarding matters like past performance. major upcoming projects (e.g. repairs or renovations), potential by-law changes and ongoing issues
- election of directors
The AGM also provides an opportunity for owners to ask question of the board about the operation of the corporation.
The first AGM must be held not more than three months after the registration of the declaration and description. After registration, the Board of Directors must call and hold an AGM within six months of the end of the condominium corporation’s fiscal year.
Effective November 1, 2017, owners must receive a written preliminary notice of meeting before the actual notice of meeting. This preliminary notice will include a range of information and will note, for example, that if a person is interested in being a candidate for election as a director, they are to notify the board in writing of this intention.
The notice of the meeting itself must be in writing and given at least 15 days prior to the day of the meeting. This notice of meeting of owners will include the date, time and place of the meeting. It must also identify the business to be transacted or voted on. For example, if changes are proposed to the declaration, by-laws or rules, this must be mentioned in the notice, as well as a copy of the changes.
The corporation sends the preliminary notice and the notice of meeting to all owners, based on information in the record of owners and mortgagees that is kept by the condominium corporation.
Quorum is the minimum number of owners that are required by law to be present for the meeting, either in person or by proxy. If there is no quorum, there can still be a discussion on a matter, but no vote can take place at the meeting. Not having a sufficient number of owners at the meeting can affect the management of your condominium corporation, as decisions will be delayed until another meeting can be called.
Effective November 1, 2017, the standard quorum for an AGM is when owners who own 25% of the units in the condo corporation are present. If the quorum is not reached on the first two attempts to hold the AGM, the quorum is reduced to 15% on the third and on any subsequent attempts.
Condo owners will be allowed to vote at an AGM so long as they are entitled to vote at the meeting and are present to vote in person or by proxy. The right to vote can be lost if amounts are owing for common expenses. Only one vote is allowed per unit, so if the condo owner co-owns a unit with one or more other persons, the vote must represent the majority of the owners of the unit. If the owners of a unit are evenly divided on how to vote, their vote will not be counted.
In some condominiums, parking spaces or storage lockers are considered “units”. No vote is allowed in respect of such a unit unless all the units in the corporation are used for such purposes.
In some situations, the mortgagee of the unit may have the right to vote at the meeting in place of the unit owner. If such right has been communicated to the condominium corporation, the mortgagee will receive notice of the meeting.
A right to vote at a meeting can be done by way of a proxy.
Effective November 1, 2017, the following changes to voting method apply:
Votes may be cast by,
(a) a show of hands, personally or by proxy; or
(b) a recorded vote that is,
(i) marked on a ballot cast personally or by a proxy,
(ii) marked on an instrument appointing a proxy, or
(iii) indicated by telephonic or electronic means, if the by-laws so permit
Also, condo owners now have the right to keep the content of their votes secret. Under certain conditions, a condo corporation can pass a by-law to amend or repeal this right. For further details, please see section 14.1 of O. Reg. 48/01 under the Condominium Act, 1998.
A proxy is the authority to represent someone else, especially in voting. A proxy identifies someone else who will vote on the person’s behalf. A proxy might be used if someone wants to vote on an issue but is unable to attend the meeting in person. A proxy must be in writing and must be signed by the person granting the proxy.
To appoint a proxy, you must use the proxy form available on the CAO’s webpage. If you are having difficulty accessing the form, please carefully read the instructions at the top of the CAO’s forms page.