Proxies in Strata – Six Things You Need to Know

Proxies can be a confusing concept, but they are important for everyone living in a strata scheme.

A proxy is a written authority permitting a person to vote at a general meeting of an owners corporation on an owner’s behalf. This ensures that all persons have the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes even if they cannot attend the meeting.

In a recent SCA NSW fortnightly webinar, Matthew Jenkins, SCA NSW Board Member/Bannermans Lawyers, delved into proxies.


Here are six key things you need to know when it comes to proxies: 

Proxy Appointments 

According to Clause 26 (1) of the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015, a person becomes a duly appointed proxy if they are appointed through an instrument in a form approved by the Secretary. This form must be signed by the person appointing the proxy or executed in a manner permitted by the regulations. 


Proxy dates 

Proxies must contain the date on which they were made. This requirement is not only legislated but also serves the purpose of defining the period of the proxy. Proxies are not indefinite; they are only effective from one specified date to another. 


Proxy Expiration  

Proxies come with a defined expiration. In particular, proxies will:  

  • Expire on the day specified in the proxy. 
  • If revoked in writing by the appointing person. 
  • If a subsequent proxy is provided to the secretary. 
  • After 12 months or two consecutive annual general meetings—whichever occurs later—unless the proxy specifies a shorter period. 
Proxy Notices 

The process of appointing a proxy involves providing the proxy to the secretary of the owners corporation. In larger schemes exceeding 100 lots (excluding utility or parking lots), proxies must be submitted 24 hours before the first meeting. In smaller schemes with 100 lots or less, proxies should be provided at or before the meeting. 


What can proxies do? 

Proxies hold significant powers in the decision-making processes of owners corporations. They can attend general meetings (including via electronic means), speak at general meetings, call for polls and vote on various motions (including procedural ones such as motions to adjourn or amend). 


What about Proxy Farming? 

It’s important to note that there are restrictions in place to prevent proxy abuse. Proxy farming, the practice of accumulating numerous proxies to influence decisions, is curtailed by limits on the total number of proxies an individual can hold. For strata schemes with 20 lots or less, one proxy is allowed. For those with more than 20 lots, the number is restricted to not more than 5% of the number of total lots (e.g., schemes with 40 to 59 lots are allowed only two proxies).