Section 76(1)(b) of the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW) now states that service by post (pre-paid only, registered post does not apply) is taken to have been effected on the 7th working day after the letter was posted. This was previously the 4th working day.
If you are sending out an agenda, please ensure you count the days properly. Ignoring public holidays, AGM or EGM agendas could previously be sent out 13 days before the general meeting, and comply. This is now 16-18 days, depending on whether there are 2 or 3 weekends in between. The time period is shorter if registered post is used.
For strata committee meetings, all owners must receive notice, by sending it to them or by placing it on the notice board (or both for large schemes). With the new laws, the 72 hours’ notice results in the need to send the agenda out 12-14 days beforehand, depending on weekends. So for a committee meeting on a Thursday, the notice needs to be mailed 2 weeks beforehand, to comply.
The amendment aligns with the changing times ahead, with less documents being posted and Australia Post becoming slower. It is clear now that service by email is even more useful.
With regards to new buildings, we suggest that developers and their strata managers should make it policy that all section 22(1) strata interest notices must include an email address. Further, consider making it a special condition in the contract that an email address is included in the section 22 strata interest notices.
When the strata manager is entering the details of new owners in new developments, strata managers should require an email address be provided. If none is provided, they should ask for one, and if necessary ask the purchaser’s solicitor for it. This will make the scheme easier to manage in the long run.
For existing schemes, strata managers may wish to ask all owners for their email address to serve notices. The strata manager could write a brief email or letter to all owners explaining that as a result of the change, we need an email address from every owner, otherwise notices need to be sent out 16-18 days before a meeting, instead of 7 days.
Taking such action will provide strata managers with the ability to convene meetings much more quickly and cut down on printing.
If you have any questions then do not hesitate to contact our Strata Law Team at Madison Marcus: