DHRA Constitution

Devonshire Hill Residents Association CONSTITUTION

1. Name and area

1(a) The Association is known as Devonshire Hill Residents Association
1(b) It covers all properties in the London Borough of Haringey and East of the A10 in Norfolk Avenue, Devonshire Hill Lane, The Green, Mayfair Gardens, Devonshire Court, Thetford Close, Devonshire Road, Devonshire Gardens, Butterfield Close, Rowland Hill Avenue, Cambridge Gardens, including a section of White Hart Lane from the A10 to Perth Road.

2. Relations with Homes for Haringey and Haringey Council

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.
2(b) As a geographically-based independent Residents Association, Devonshire Hill Residents Association does not seek to substitute for a Residents Association in a Homes for Haringey property. On the other hand, we recognise that both Haringey Council and Homes for Haringey are partners in furthering our aims and objectives. The Association therefore endeavours to remain on good terms and to be recognised by Homes for Haringey whilst maintaining our independence.
2(c) The Association will keep Homes for Haringey and/or Council officers as appropriate, properly pre-notified of General Meetings of the Association, (including of Special General Meetings and the AGM).
2(d) The Association will properly account for all expenditures, including accounting for expenditure made against funding from Homes for Haringey or Haringey Council.

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 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 improve service delivery by Homes for Haringey, Haringey Council and other bodies, and to maximise opportunities for residents to participate in activities and events to influence such improvements.

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(a) 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(a) 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 chairperson that they do not wish to be members.
6(c) An authorised occupant is a person who resides in a property listed in 1(a) 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 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, leaseholder or owner, and who is living in the property; or a freeholder or tenant of a freeholder
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.
6(d) Associate membership is open to any resident of a property in the area adjacent to the area specified in 1(a) 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 voting co-opted member of the Committee, and may serve on subcommittees and working groups. An associate member may 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 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 an appropriate competent independent person who is not a member of the Association. 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 April to March.

8. The committee and officers

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 5 nor more than 15 full (voting) members, including officers. The minimum officer positions are the Chair (or "Chairperson"), Secretary and Treasurer. Additional officer positions, such as Membership Secretary and Vice Chair may also be elected.
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 5, 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.

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. Nominations for officer positions are made in the same way.
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) Nominations must be in writing and must be received by the Secretary or chairperson at least one week before the Annual General Meeting.
9(d) 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(e) Election shall be by a show of hands unless a member request a secret ballot. Only members of the Association (authorised occupants) present at the meeting are eligible to vote.
9(f) If nominations are taken from the floor, those names shall be added to the ballot papers before voting takes place.
9(g) An election shall take place even if it is uncontested.
9(h) The election shall use a yes/no or for/against procedure, enabling members to vote against any nominee. If half or more of those voting vote against a nominee that person will be deemed not to have been elected, even if this results in the Committee not having the minimum number of members specified in 8(b) above. 

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 absent from more than half of the meetings (whether general or committee) held in any six month period, and does not have a reason acceptable to the Committee;
10.a.3. ceases to be an authorised occupant as defined in 6(c) above;
10.a.4. is excluded from any meeting of the Association under the provisions of 6(e)above (but if s/he appeals the exclusion and the exclusion is overturned, Committee membership is reinstated); 
10.a.5. 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 under 10.a.2 or 10.a.5 may appeal to the next General Meeting.

11. Officers

11(a) The Annual General Meeting will elect the officers.
11(b) The committee may carry out an election to fill a vacant officer position at any committee meeting. Such an election must be ratified by the next General Meeting.
11(c) The committee may carry out an election from amongst its members to fill a vacant officer position at any committee meeting. 
11(d) Election of officers shall be by a show of hands unless a member requests a secret ballot.

12. Proceedings of the committee

12(a) The Committee shall meet not less than four times per year.
12(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.
12(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.
12(d) The accidental failure to give notice to a member shall not invalidate the proceedings of any meeting.
12(e) No Committee meeting shall take place if less than half of the full (voting) members of the Committee are present.
12(f) Committee meetings shall be open to members of the Association who may take part in discussions at the meeting but may not vote.
12(g) The Committee will make reasonable efforts to publicise the dates, times and venues of its meetings to other members of the Association.
12(i) Minutes and attendance records shall be taken at all Committee meetings and shall be kept on file by the Secretary. Minutes shall be available on request to any member of the Association.

13. Subcommittees

13(a) The Committee may set up any subcommittees or working groups to further the aims of the Association provided that the decision to do so is minuted, along with terms of reference.
13(b) The subcommittee or working group shall report to the Committee and/or to a General Meeting as requested.
13(c) The Committee or any General Meeting may dissolve any subcommittee or working group, or may change its terms of reference. On a group being dissolved, its assets, records and accounts shall pass into the hands of the Committee. Further guidance on sub committees can be located in Devonshire Hill Residents Association’s terms of reference.

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 16 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. 

15. Ordinary general meetings

15(a) There shall be at least 2 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 25 members of the Association submit a written request for such a meeting to the Secretary or Chair.
16(b) The Secretary or Chair 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(a) 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 chairperson will notify 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 put in public places in the area the association covers 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 notice shall be made available if required in large print or on disk. If possible, the notice of the meeting should indicate that it is available in these formats.
17(e) 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(f) 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(g) 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 12 members of the Association (authorised occupants).
18(c) General meetings shall be chaired as agreed by the Committee. If the agreed chair is not present five minutes after the scheduled starting time for the meeting, the Committee members present shall choose one of their members 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. Under special circumstances proxy voting may be permitted.
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.
18(g) The chair of any meeting has a single vote and no casting vote. In the event that a vote is tied, the proposal shall be deemed to have fallen.
18(h) The Committee shall be bound by all decisions taken by general meetings.
18(i) Minutes and attendance records must be taken at all general meetings and shall be kept on file by the Secretary.
18(j) All minutes of general meetings will be published on the website of the Association and shall be made available to any member of the Association on request.

19. Changes to the constitution

19(a) This constitution may be altered at an Annual General Meeting or Ordinary General Meeting.
19(b) Any proposed changes to the constitution must be provided in writing to the Secretary at least 28 days before the date of the meeting.
19(c) A copy of the proposed changes, along with notice of the meeting, must be placed in the public domain at least 14 days before the meeting date.
19(d) Changes to the constitution require the agreement of two thirds of the members of the Association present and voting at the meeting. 
19(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.

20. Dissolution

20(a) The Association may only be dissolved at a Special General Meeting called by the Committee for that purpose. 
20(b) Notice must be given to all members at least fourteen days before the meeting. 
20(c) A proposal to dissolve the Association shall take effect only if agreed by two thirds of the members present and voting at the meeting.
20(d) For the sole purpose of dissolution a quorum need not apply.
20(e) 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.
20(f) 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 or Haringey Council (as appropriate), be repayable.

This constitution was adopted at a general meeting of the Association held:
Date: ................................................................................................................
Place: ...............................................................................................................
Signed, Association Chair: ............................................................................
Signed, Association Secretary: ....................................................................