Giving Notice For General Meetings
One of the most common questions we get from Strata Councils is how we calculate the 21 day notice period required before calling an Annual or Special General Meeting. On the face of it, the Strata Property Act appears to only require a 14 day notification period as noted in section 45 below:
45 (1) The strata corporation must give at least 14 days / 2 weeks’ written notice of an annual or special general meeting to all of the following:
(a) every owner, whether or not a notice must also be sent to the owner’s mortgagee or tenant;
(b) every mortgagee who has given the strata corporation a Mortgagee’s Request for Notification under section 60;
(c) every tenant who has been assigned a landlord’s right to vote under section 147 or 148, if the strata corporation has received notice of the assignment.
This sometimes leads to confusion with Strata Councils, eager to call their AGM or SGM and hoping to do so sooner rather than later. Like two weeks from right now!
To calculate the true notification period, one has to delve a bit further into other legislation- notably the British Columbia “Interpretation Act”. This Act stipulates that when mailing notifications such as General Meeting Notices, a four (4) day window needs to be added to account for the delays in mailing. This can be avoided if you hand delivery notices directly to the recipient, which is highly impractical for most strata corporations. Note that you cannot simply slide it under the door to constitute hand delivery, you must give it to them… well, by hand. Now that we’ve dropped the notice in the mail, we go from 14 days to 18 days.
In addition to those four days, the Interpretations Act further requires that you exclude the day the notice is mailed AND the day the notice is received. Those don’t count, which adds another two (2) days (hope you’re following, because now we’re at 20 days).
Because some notices take many hours to reproduce by photocopy, and because photocopiers seem to break down with some regularity, we like to add 1 more day just to be on the safe side- taking us to 21 days (or 3 weeks). And that is the time needed just to get it out the door… keep in mind that preparation of the work related to the actual meeting agenda (arranging for resolutions to be written for potential levies and/or bylaw amendments, gathering quotations for project budgeting, scheduling time for consultants to attend, etc.) can often take weeks. It is simply not a document that can continually be added to with great ease as we get down to the wire trying to get it out the door within the prescribed time limit.
In any event, you have often heard Property Managers say that it takes 3 weeks notice for an Annual or Special General notice to be delivered, and we hope that this clarifies why.