Resident’s entitlement to vote

About this article

This article clarifies who is entitled to vote at a meeting of residents in a retirement village.

Definitions

The Retirement Villages Act (RV Act) defines special resolution, at a residents meeting, means a resolution passed —

(a) at the meeting of which the residents are given at least 21 days written notice stating the intention to propose the resolution as a special resolution; and

(b) by at least three-quarters of the persons entitled to vote who vote* —

(i) personally or by proxy at the meeting; or

(ii) by postal ballot.

Even though the RV Act has not provided expressed authority for an attorney to vote on a special resolution, under law, an attorney where appropriately authorised by the power of attorney, may do anything the principal may legally do.

*Note – this means for a motion to be passed, at least three-quarters of the votes cast, must be in favour of the motion.  The three-quarters is not calculated on the total number of residents entitled to vote.  For more information, refer to Part 15 Special resolutions in the Residents Committee Manual.

Vote means to cast a vote by a resident or by a former resident for any purpose for the affairs of the village at a meeting of residents, personally, by a proxy, by postal ballot or by an appropriately authorised attorney.

Background

Section 133 of the RV Act prescribes –

The following persons are entitled to vote at a meeting of the residents of a retirement village—

a) either—

1 resident of each accommodation unit in the retirement village; or

if the residents have, by special resolution, agreed that each resident of the retirement village should be entitled to vote—each resident of the retirement village;

b) while a former resident of an accommodation unit is required under section 104 to pay the whole or a proportion of the general services charges—1 former resident of the accommodation unit.

What does section 133 mean?

Voting by current residents

Without exception, there is only a single choice from 2 options for the entitlement for voting by residents at a residents meeting, namely –

by default, only 1 resident from each accommodation unit is entitled to vote;

or

each resident is entitled to vote, provided the residents of the village have agreed, by passing a special resolution.

A residents constitution can not override the above or attempt to provide different entitlements for voting for different purposes.

The particular entitlement for voting, adopted in the village, applies for all purposes where voting is required by residents.

Voting by former residents

The RV Act prescribes, where a former resident is paying any part of the general services charges, only 1 former resident of the accommodation unit is entitled to vote. There is no exception, even though residents have agreed, by special resolution, that all residents are entitled to vote.