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ACT Property Law - What Does Joint Ownership Mean?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Ted Sherwood, 17 November 2015.

  1. Ted Sherwood

    Ted Sherwood Well-Known Member

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    We have a lot in Community Title Scheme in the ACT. The governing act (the Community Title Act 2001) provides that if a lot is 'owned' by more than one person, then each part-owner is a member of the body corporate. For meeting purposes, I need to know who the members are. Some lot owners own the lot on their own, so that means they are a member. But the majority own their lot either as joint owners or tenants in common. Therefore the question: is a joint owner - either type an 'owner' in their own right (and therefore, a member separate to the membership of their 'partner' in the lot) under property law?
     
  2. James D. Ford - Solicitor

    James D. Ford - Solicitor Well-Known Member
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    Hi Ted, are you a member of the Body Corporate Committee? Do you have an appointed Body Corp manager?

    What is the reason for the meeting you are proposing?

    There will be a register of all lot owners, kept by the BC manager.

    1 property = 1 lot = 1 shared membership and 1 vote in Body Corp matters...

    Joint lot owners can both be invited to a BC meeting, but they only have 1 vote between them.

    Kind regards
     
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  3. Ted Sherwood

    Ted Sherwood Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the quick response James.
    See answers below.




     
  4. James D. Ford - Solicitor

    James D. Ford - Solicitor Well-Known Member
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    Hi Ted,

    I believe the following section will explain how co-owners are counted in the voting at general meetings - look for my bold highlighting:

    COMMUNITY TITLE ACT (ACT) 2001 - SECT 41
    Voting at general meeting
    (1) A member of the body corporate may vote personally or by proxy on issues to be decided at a general meeting.

    (2) Voting may be by show of hands but, if a poll is required, voting is in accordance with the constituent documents of the body corporate.

    (3) Co-owners may vote by proxy jointly appointed by them and, without such a proxy, they may not vote on a show of hands (except on a motion for a unanimous resolution).

    (4) However, a co-owner may require a poll and on the poll a co-owner is entitled to voting rights proportionate to the co-owner's interest in the lot.

    (5) If a mortgagee is in possession of a lot under a mortgage, the mortgagee is entitled to exercise the voting rights of the lessee, to the exclusion of the rights of the lessee.

    Kind regards
     
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  5. Ted Sherwood

    Ted Sherwood Well-Known Member

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    So we have a clash between two sections of the same Act?

    Section 32(1): "If a lot...is owned by more than 1 person, each part-owner is a member of the body corporate."
    Together with 41(1)

    means that both co-owners are members in their own right and may vote.

    versus Section 41(3).

    Any reconciliation?

    Regards

     
  6. James D. Ford - Solicitor

    James D. Ford - Solicitor Well-Known Member
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    Hi Ted,

    There is no conflict.

    The votes are what counts.... and co-owners whilst both qualifying as members of the BC, cannot join together in a meeting, and obtain 2 votes by a show of hands (unless it does not matter - as in a unanimous vote is required).

    Yes they can vote, as 1 proxy vote, or requiring a poll where they can vote in accordance with their % share of their lot.. both times this adds up to 1 vote per lot.

    Kind regards
     
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  7. Ted Sherwood

    Ted Sherwood Well-Known Member

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    OK, now I see. Thank you for your patience James.
     
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