One thing we have learned at GPM, is that many of the Owners living in the communities that we manage, find the prescribed proxy form to be a tad confusing to use. In this article we intend to breakdown what proxy forms are, when to use them, and how to navigate the proxy form.
CAO: Proxy voting & Condo Forms
What is a proxy?
A proxy form will be found in your Notice of Meeting (AGM or other Owner Meetings package), and this form can be used to
represent you if you cannot attend the Owner’s Meeting. Often you will give your completed proxy form to another person, who you trust, and they will be your proxy representing you at the meeting.
You can appoint almost anyone to be your proxy, and they do not have to be an Owner in the Condominium Corp. There is one person who you should not appoint, and that is your Condominium Manager. It’s important for the Manager to remain neutral in these types of proceedings. Also, it would be best practice to avoid appointing any other member of the Corporation staff.
When should an Owner use a Proxy Form:
There is a 25% quorum requirement in order for a Condo Corporation to hold an Owner’s Meeting. Quorum is the minimum number of Owners that by law must be in attendance for the meeting to conduct the business of the Corporation. For example, if your Condo had 300 units, the meeting would require at least 75 Owners represented in person or by proxy. The quorum requirement drops to 15% on the third attempt to hold the meeting.
Calling Owners Meetings is expensive for your Corporation, but this is not the only reason why Owners should utilize their proxies. As an Owner, you have a stake in the entire Condominium Corporation; not just your specific unit(s). Your voice does matter, and it should be represented at the meeting. Using your proxy can make sure your vote/decisions/etc. are counted, even if you cannot attend.
Let’s breakdown filling out the form
(you can fill these forms out electronically or by hand).
Page 1 (top of page)
At the top of the first page make sure the following are filled out:
• Corporation name
• Check off if you are a registered owner, authorized agent, mortgagee, etc.
• Name of the proxy giver (your name)
• Unit # and address
At the Bottom of Page One:
VERY IMPORTANT: At the bottom of page one is the date/time for when you filled out the proxy. This is an important section. If there are duplicate proxies received for your unit, the one with the date/time closest to the meeting date/time will be used. Also important, down the right hand side of your form you will be asked to sign or initial in several spots. Take care not to miss any signatures/initials on the proxy form or your proxy may not be deemed valid.
Page 2 (top of page)
At the top of page two make sure to fill out the following to appoint your proxy holder:
• Date of the meeting (sometimes this may have already been filled in)
• Name of Proxy holder(s) – you do not have to list two people
• Signature/Initials on the right-hand side to validate your choice(s)
Page 2 – Middle Section of page – read carefully, and make check only one box that best matches what you want your proxy holder to be able to do while representing you:
After you select one, place your signature or initials in the box immediately to the right of your selection.
Page 2 – Bottom of page – voting for candidates. If there will be a Board election as part of the Owner’s Meeting, the candidates will be listed in your notice of meeting. Most often you will find candidate disclosure forms and usually a bio is provided by the candidates. Review carefully, especially if you have never met the candidates before. You will make your selection(s) at the bottom of page 2, and always sign on the right hand side to validate your selection(s).\
Important things to know about page three:
• Carefully review the instructions at the top.
• If the election will have an Owner-Occupied vote, this will be found here.
• If the Board is proposing changes to the Declaration, By-laws, or other specific matters, the voting for these matters will be found on this page. Details of these types of votes will be found in the notice of the meeting package.
• If there is a vote to remove directions/election of substitutes this will also be found on this page.
Some last key points about proxies…
It is best practice that proxies generally be filled in by the person giving the proxy. Sometimes some fields may already have been filled in by a candidate who is canvassing for votes, but please review fully before signing/initialing.
A unit may have more than one Owner, but only one proxy can be submitted per unit. Owners have the right to abstain from voting, and can submit a proxy to count toward quorum only. Owners may leave their filled-out proxies with their Manager prior to the meeting, but they should never ask their Manager for guidance as to who to vote for.
Most Corporations do allow candidates to canvas/solicit for proxies. So, if it is election time for the Corporation, don’t be surprised to hear a knock at the door. This can be a good way to get a feel for a candidate.