As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, condominium juristic persons (CJP) are in the midst of preparing to hold an in-person annual general meeting (AGM) for co-owners to review and approve the condominium's annual report and financial statements. By law, the AGM must be held within 120 days from the last day of the accounting period. However, the constantly evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation will inevitably result in CJPs having to revisit the decision about when and how to hold an AGM in the face of social distancing measures and growing travel restrictions.
In line with other regulators, the Land Department announced a guideline earlier this week on 23 March 2020 to better assist CJPs with the difficulties associated with holding an AGM during this period. Such measure permits CJPs who cannot hold an AGM within the statutory deadline to postpone the AGM until the situation returns to normal, provided that the manager of the CJP notifies the co-owners of the rationale behind the postponement. At the same time, the manager is also required in the interim to prepare and inform the co-owners of the annual report and financial statements in advance of the postponed AGM.
If there is a necessary need to hold the AGM as scheduled, the co-owners should be notified about the authorization of proxies as a means to reduce the number of in-person attendees at the AGM. Alternatively, the AGM may be held through electronic means as long as the legal requirements are satisfied (the NCPO Notification No. 74/2557 Re: Electronic Meeting).
While there will invariably be issues faced down the road, the announcement of the Land Department at the very least clarifies that CJPs have the flexibility to hold or postpone the AGM to a later date.
The Baker McKenzie Real Estate Practice Group is closely monitoring movements in the sector and will continue to provide you with timely updates. If you require further information or assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.