Afternoon Quickie: Order of Business

Today I’m going to discuss the standard order of business for condominium AGMs.

The order of business should be set out in the agenda distributed with the notice of meeting and other attachments (i.e. audited financial statements). According to Robert’s Rules of Order, the standard order of business is as follows:

  1. Call to order
  2. Reading and Approval of Minutes
  3. Reports
  4. Unfinished Business
  5. New Business
  6. Adjournment.

For condominiums, the reports section is ordinarily split up into several different reports, such as the President’s report, committee reports, and the auditor’s report. The Act does not require reports, except for the auditor’s report (unless the owners have opted-out of an audit, which is extremely rare). Some condominiums have no reports from the board or manager, others have several. I find it depends upon how often the board is communicating with the owners throughout the year. Some boards communicate regularly and don’t feel the need to restate it at the AGM. Other boards use the AGM as their once-a-year communication to the owners.

It is unlikely that a condominium would have unfinished business at an AGM, but it is possible to add an unfinished matter from a previous owners’ meeting. For instance, if a special meeting was called 2 months earlier to pass a by-law and there were not enough owners present to vote on the by-law the condominium could have postponed the vote on the by-law to the AGM. This would fall under unfinished business.

For most condominiums the new business section is an opportunity for owners to raise concerns or ask questions about the general affairs of the condominium. It is not an opportunity for owners to ask questions about their unit. The new business section might also include votes on matters like a new by-law or a substantial change to the common elements. It might even include matters where the board is not required to obtain approval for according to the Act, but the board nonetheless wishes to seek input from the owners. 

In most cases the order in the agenda is appropriate, but in rare cases it may need to be revised to reflect a change in circumstances. For instance, the auditor may need to leave early to attend another meeting. In this case, the auditor’s report could be moved up to allow him or her to leave earlier than originally scheduled. The agenda can be amended by a vote in favour of a majority of those present in person or by proxy.  The agenda cannot be amended to add votes on matters not previously contained in the notice or agenda.