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bylaw amendments

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Amending the bylaws of our condominium association requires a 3/4 vote in favour. If some members abstain, does this mean that only 3/4 of those who do vote can pass a bylaw?

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Guest Edgar

Amending the bylaws of our condominium association requires a 3/4.

Surely that's not an exact and complete quote from your bylaws.

A 3/4 what? A three-fourths vote? The vote of three-fourths of the (entire) membership? The vote of three-fourths of the members present at a meeting?

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Surely that's not an exact and complete quote from your bylaws.

A 3/4 what? A three-fourths vote? The vote of three-fourths of the (entire) membership? The vote of three-fourths of the members present at a meeting?

I inadvertently omitted the words "3/4 of the condominium owners". Somehow can't find how to edit a posting so as to make the needed correction.

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Surely that's not an exact and complete quote from your bylaws.

A 3/4 what? A three-fourths vote? The vote of three-fourths of the (entire) membership? The vote of three-fourths of the members present at a meeting?

Have now edited my posting.

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I inadvertently omitted the words "3/4 of the condominium owners". Somehow can't find how to edit a posting so as to make the needed correction.

Well, they're your bylaws, so what they mean must be determined by the membership. You'll find some principles of interpretation in RONR (11th Ed.) beginning on page 588. RONR's default is that the voting requirement is calculated on the number of members present and voting at a duly called meeting with a quorum present. Your language seems to have taken a different approach.

However, an argument could be made that the language you have now quoted means an affirmative vote of 3/4 of (all) the owners. If you have 100 owners in the association,a minimum of 75 affirmative votes would be required to adopt an amendment to the bylaws.

Edited by David A Foulkes

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I inadvertently omitted the words "3/4 of the condominium owners". Somehow can't find how to edit a posting so as to make the needed correction.

Well, your edit still does not say 3/4 of the condominium owners; it says a 3/4 vote. The two phrasings would probably have very different interpretations.

In RONR, a "3/4 vote" means at least that fraction of those present and voting. But "3/4 of the owners" could be interpreted to mean whether present or not. In the former case, abstentions would have no effect, since those abstaining are by definition not voting. But if 3/4 of all owners must vote yes, then an abstention, while not a vote, would have the same effect as a No vote.

Interpretation of your bylaws is up to your society.

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Guest Edgar

Have now edited my posting.

Please don't edit posts once they have been replied to. It makes following the thread of the discussion difficult.

Think of a post that has been replied to as "approved minutes". Any corrections should be made in subsequent posts, not in the original text. Otherwise you're re-writing history.

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Well, your edit still does not say 3/4 of the condominium owners; it says a 3/4 vote. The two phrasings would probably have very different interpretations.

In RONR, a "3/4 vote" means at least that fraction of those present and voting. But "3/4 of the owners" could be interpreted to mean whether present or not. In the former case, abstentions would have no effect, since those abstaining are by definition not voting. But if 3/4 of all owners must vote yes, then an abstention, while not a vote, would have the same effect as a No vote.

Interpretation of your bylaws is up to your society.

Thanks for the clarification. It seems that the British Columbia Strata [read Condominium] Property Act is ambiguous since it does not specify whether the 3/4 vote is to be a 3/4 vote of all owners present or not or just those present and voting.

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It seems that the British Columbia Strata [read Condominium] Property Act is ambiguous since it does not specify whether the 3/4 vote is to be a 3/4 vote of all owners present or not or just those present and voting.

Well, since this involves the interpretation of applicable law, you should consult a lawyer to settle this ambiguity.

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