Constitution

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Homes for Haringey
MODEL CONSTITUTION
for Residents’ Associations

1. Name and area

1(a) The Association is known as [VARTRY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION]

1(b) It covers all properties [IN VARTRY ROAD AND ADJOINING STREETS: BERKELEY RD; ST JOHN’S RD; HEYSHAM RD; MANCHESTER RD; CANDLER ST; FRANKLIN ST; RICHMOND RD; ALBERT RD]

2. Recognition by Homes for Haringey

2(a) The criteria for formal recognition and derecognition of the Association by Homes for Haringey are set out in Homes for Haringey's Recognition Criteria.

3. Aims

3(a) To promote the interests of all residents of the community.

3(b) To promote all residents’ rights and the maintenance and improvement of housing conditions, amenities, and the environment of the community.

3(c) To promote occasional social activities for all members of the community.

3(d) To uphold and work for good relations amongst all members of the community.

3(e) To promote continuous improvement in service delivery by Homes for Haringey, Haringey Council and other bodies.

3(f) To maximise opportunities for residents to participate in activities and events to influence service delivery.

3(g) To achieve best value for money in carrying out its activities.

4. Powers

4(a) To raise funds for use in the furtherance of these aims.

4(b) To employ staff or others to carry out the work of the Association.

4(c) To buy, rent or hire premises for use by the Association.

4(d) To negotiate with Homes for Haringey, Haringey Council and other bodies on behalf of some or all of the authorised occupants of properties listed in 1(b) above.

4(e) To co-operate with other community, voluntary, statutory, private and partnership bodies and to undertake joint activities to achieve the aims.

4(f) To do anything else lawful and necessary to achieve the aims.

5. Political Independence

5(a) The Association shall remain non-party political.

6. Membership

6(a) Membership shall be open to all authorised occupants of properties listed in 1(b) above irrespective of gender, sexuality, race, ethnic origin, national origin, nationality, religion, culture, disability, age, health status, marital status, class, political beliefs (except where such beliefs are based on discriminatory practices), unrelated criminal activities and responsibility for dependants.

6(b) All authorised occupants shall be considered members of the Association unless they have given written notice to the Secretary or Chair that they do not wish to be members.

6(c) An authorised occupant is a person who resides in a property listed in 1(b) above and who is:

6.c.1. a tenant whose name is on the tenancy agreement for the property; or
6.c.2. a shared owner or owner of a leasehold property whose name is on the lease or deed for the property; or
6.c.3. a spouse, partner or child aged 16 or over of a tenant or leaseholder, and who is living in the property; or
6.c.4. another family or household member living in the property with the agreement of the landlord; or
6.c.5. a lodger living in the property with the agreement of the landlord; or
6.c.6. a sub-lessee of a leaseholder.

OPTIONAL CLAUSE

6(d) Associate membership is open to any resident of a property in the area adjacent to the area specified in 1(b) above. Applications for associate membership must be approved by the Committee. An associate member may attend and participate in general meetings, may serve as a non-voting co-opted member of the Committee, and may serve on subcommittees and working groups. An associate member may not vote at general meetings or be a voting member of the Committee.

6(e) It is a condition of membership that members conduct themselves in a reasonable manner at meetings or in the premises used by the Association. Any member may be excluded from one or more meetings or permanently, for a breach of this condition, or for any other form of conduct contravening the aims of the Association, by a majority of those present and voting at any Committee or General Meeting. Any member so excluded has the right of appeal to the following General Meeting.

7. Finance

7(a) All money raised by or on behalf of the Association is to be used only to further the aims of the Association.

7(b) The Treasurer shall maintain a bank or building society account in the name of the Association.

7(c) The committee shall appoint a minimum of three cheque signatories. One signatory must be the Treasurer. No more than one member of a household or family may be a cheque signatory at the same time.

7(d) All cheques and instructions to the Association's bank or building society shall require two of the agreed signatures.

7(e) The General Meeting, Committee or Chairperson or Secretary may at any time require the Treasurer or any other person dealing with finance to make available the Association’s financial records, documents, bank statements, cheque-books, paying-in books and any or all other information relating to finance, and the Committee or General Meeting may at any time appoint an independent person to examine and report on the organisation’s financial position or procedures.

7(f) Before each Annual General Meeting, the Treasurer shall have the accounts checked and a statement of account prepared by a person or organisation acceptable to Homes for Haringey. The Committee’s accounts shall include those of any subgroup or working party set up by the Committee or General Meeting.

7(g) The Association’s financial year shall run from [1st September] to [31st August], or such other period as is agreed by a General Meeting of the Association with the consent of Homes for Haringey.

8. The Committee

8(a) A Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to carry out the business of the Association.

8(b) The Committee when complete shall consist of not less than [three] nor more than [eight] full (voting) members, including officers.

8(c) All full members of the Committee must be authorised occupants and must not be under an exclusion under 6 (e), and must be at least 18 years of age

8(d) If the number of full members of the Committee is less than the maximum, the Committee may at any time co-opt one or more authorised occupants to be full members of the Committee. The co-option must be confirmed at the next General Meeting.

8(e) If the number of full members is less than [three], the Committee may operate only to appoint additional voting members under clause above, or to call a General Meeting at which a new Committee is elected.

8(f) All Committee members serve until the end of the next Annual General Meeting and are eligible for re-election or re-co-option.

8(g) Even if they are no longer members of the Committee, the outgoing officers (if any) continue to serve in those positions until new officers (if any) are elected under the provisions in 9 below.

8(h) Homes for Haringey will be provided with the names, contact details and diversity information of all committee members and officers within one month of the Annual General Meeting and with any changes to these within one month of the change taking place.

9. Procedure for Election

9(a) Nominations for election to the Committee may be made by the Committee or by any member of the Association.

9(b) A member may nominate him/herself, or a member of his/her household, or any member of the association, provided the nominated person is an authorised occupant and agrees to be nominated.

9(c) If there are insufficient nominations to fill the minimum number of places on the Committee, nominations may be made from the floor at the Annual General Meeting.

9(d) The election shall be by a simple majority vote, determined by a show of hands by those present.

9(e) An election shall take place even if it is uncontested.

9(f) The meeting shall appoint at least one officer of Homes for Haringey or other persons who are not members or associate members of the Association, to oversee the result.

10. Termination of Committee Membership

10(a) A person ceases to be a member of the Committee if s/he:

10.a.1. tenders her/his resignation from the Committee and/or from the Association;
10.a.2.is convicted of an offence which in the view of the committee could bring the Association or its committee into disrepute.

10(b) A person removed from Committee membership may appeal to the next General Meeting.

11. OFFICERS

12. OPTION A: Committee Elects Officers

12(a) At its first meeting following the Annual General Meeting, or as soon as possible after that, the Committee shall elect from itself members to fulfil the roles of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, and such other officers as it feels fit, and the officers shall carry out the duties given to them by the Committee.

12(b) The committee may carry out an election to fill a vacant officer position at any committee meeting

12(c) Election of officers shall be by a simple majority vote, determined by a show of hands by those present.

13. Proceedings of the Committee

13(a) The Committee shall meet [at least 3 times between AGM’s)

13(b) Committee meetings can be called by the Chair and/or the Secretary, or by the majority of the committee giving written notice to the Chair and Secretary.

13(c) Notice of Committee meetings must be given to Committee members at least five calendar days before the meeting, with an agenda. The notice may be in writing or may be given by fax, email or other electronic means capable of being printed out.

13(d) The accidental failure to give notice to a member shall not invalidate the proceedings of any meeting.

OPTIONAL CLAUSE

13(e) Committee meetings shall be open to members of the Association who may take part in discussions at the meeting but may not vote.

14. Annual General Meeting (AGM)

14(a) An Annual General Meeting must be held every year within four months from the end of the financial year. There must not be more than 14 months between AGMs.

14(b) At each AGM the Committee shall report on its work during the previous year, and present a statement of accounts in writing to all members present.

14(c) The AGM shall elect a new committee, and vote on proposals and on any amendments to the constitution.

14(d) Homes for Haringey shall be provided with the name and address of the new committee members with one month of each AGM.

15. Ordinary General Meetings

15(a) There shall be at least [three] Ordinary General Meetings between one AGM and the next.

16. Special General Meetings

16(a) A Special General Meeting open to all members will be held if [guidance is 10% of households] members of the Association submit a written request for such a meeting to the Secretary [OR OTHER OFFICERS].

16(b) The Secretary [OR OTHER OFFICERS] shall arrange for the Special General Meeting to take place within fourteen days of the request being made and will ensure that notice is given to all properties listed in 1(b) above at least five days before the meeting date along with details of the agenda.

16(c) A special general meeting may consider only the matter(s) for which the meeting was called.

17. Notice of General Meetings

17(a) The Committee shall set the agenda for the Annual General Meeting and Ordinary General Meetings.

17(b) The Secretary [OR OTHER OFFICERS] will notify all members of the date of the general meetings not less than fourteen calendar days before an Annual General Meeting or Ordinary General Meeting, and not less than five days before a Special General Meeting.

17(c) The notice must be given to each property listed in 1(a) above along with an agenda for the meeting. The notice may be in writing or may be given by fax, email or other electronic means capable of being printed out.

17(d) The Association shall invite Homes for Haringey to attend each AGM with at least 14 calendar days’ notice.

17(e) Homes for Haringey shall be given at least 14 calendar days' notice of Ordinary General Meetings, and five days' notice of Special General Meetings. Homes for Haringey officers may, with the consent of the [Chairperson of the Association or other officers] attend all or part of Ordinary and Special General Meetings in a non- voting capacity.

17(f) Notice of the Annual General Meeting must be sent to the person or organisation who has examined the Association’s annual accounts as required under 7(f) above.

17(g) Invitations to general meetings may be sent to the Member of Parliament and local authority councillors for the area, and to others agreed by the Committee.

17(h) The accidental failure to give notice to any person shall not invalidate the proceedings of any general meeting.

18. Proceedings at General Meetings

18(a) Reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure General Meetings are held in premises which are accessible to disabled people.

18(b) The quorum for the Annual General Meeting, Ordinary General Meetings and Special General Meetings is [five] members of the Association (authorised occupants).

18(c) General meetings shall be chaired as agreed by the Committee. If the agreed Chairperson is not present five minutes after the scheduled starting time for the meeting, the Committee members present shall choose one of their number to chair the meeting.

18(d) Any member of the Association may make a proposal (subject to the clause on Special Meetings at 16(c) above). In order for it to be voted on by other members it must be seconded, or supported, by another member.

18(e) Only members of the Association present at the meeting may vote.

18(f) Before voting, any member of the Association may propose an amendment, which must also be seconded. The proposed amendment must be put to the vote first. If the amendment is carried, the relevant part of the original proposal shall be disregarded without a further vote. If, however, the amendment is defeated, then the original proposal will be put to a vote.

19. [REMOVE IF THERE IS NO CHAIRPERSON]

19(a) The Chairperson of the Committee has a single vote at general meetings and no casting vote. In the event that a vote is tied, the proposal shall be deemed to have fallen.

19(b) The Committee shall be bound by all decisions taken by general meetings.

19(c) Minutes and attendance records must be taken at all general meetings and shall be kept on file by the [Secretary].

19(d) All minutes of general meetings shall be available to any member of the Association and/or to any Homes for Haringey and/or Council officer on request.

20. Changes to the Constitution

20(a) This constitution may be altered at an Annual General Meeting or Ordinary General Meeting.

20(b) Any proposed changes to the constitution must be provided in writing to the [Secretary or Chair] and to Homes for Haringey at least 28 days before the date of the meeting.

20(c) Homes for Haringey shall be invited to attend the meeting, and to address the meeting on the proposed changes.

20(d) Changes to the constitution require the agreement of two thirds of the members of the Association present and voting at the meeting.

20(e) Any changes to the constitution take effect from the end of the meeting at which they are approved, unless a later date is specified in the amendment resolution.

21. Dissolution

21(a) The Association may only be dissolved at a Special General Meeting called by the Committee for that purpose.

21(b) If there have been no committee or general meetings for more than one year, then Homes for Haringey will contact the last known officers of the committee to ask them to call a Special General Meeting for the purpose of dissolution. If it is not possible to contact any last known committee officers, then Homes for Haringey may call the meeting

21(c) Notice must be given to all properties listed in 1(b) above at least fourteen days before the meeting.

24(d) A proposal to dissolve the Association shall take effect only if agreed by two thirds of the members present and voting at the meeting.

24(e) For the sole purpose of dissolution a quorum need not apply.

21(f) The assets remaining when the Association has satisfied its liabilities will be disposed of to the benefit of the community according to the wishes of the meeting.

21(g) Any funding paid to the Association by Homes for Haringey, or Income raised from use of Homes for Haringey or Haringey Council premises, since the previous AGM shall, at the discretion of Homes For Haringey (as appropriate), be payable.

21(h) This constitution was adopted at a general meeting of the Association held:

21(I ) Date: ..............................................................................................................

21(j ) Place: .............................................................................................................

21(k) Signed, Association Chair: ................................................................................

21(l) Signed, Association Secretary: ...........................................................................

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