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The latest Body Corporate Matters

Changing Body Corp Managers

Thursday, October 31st 2019

Changing Body Corporate Managers

The day-to-day management of a strata complex works best when there is a friendly, harmonious relationship between Committees and their Body Corporate Manager. Occasionally there are personality conflicts or business service issues that cannot be resolved by negotiation with the parties.  

If the conflict is not to do with clashing personalities and is based by continuing poor performance or sloppy administration and continues after your committee has complained repeatedly, a change in body corporate management may be the best answer.

If your Body Corporate decides to change Body Corporate Managers, the Body Corporate should – 

  • Check the current agreement as to when the arrangement ends.  It  can be quite difficult to end an Agreement mid way through and legal advice may need to be obtained if this is the case.
  • Seek alternative quotes from other Body Corporate Managers.  It is important to not only compare administration fees but also the costs (disbursements/outlays/out of pocket expenses) charged for   
    • Photocopies
    • Emails received and sent
    • telephone attendances
    • meeting attendances included
    • fees related to the storage of records etc  
  • The Committee must ensure that the current Body Corporate Manager is provided with a formal termination notice in accordance with the terms of their agreement

A motion to change Body Corporate Managers will need to be included on the meeting agenda of the next AGM or EGM.  

NOTE:  A member of the Body Corporate Matters team can assist a Committee navigate the path to choosing a new Body Corporate Management firm including fee comparisons and assessing which Administration Agreement best suits their requirements.   We do charge a nominal fee for this service however it could save you many $'s.      Call us for details.

OWNERS CORPORATION NETWORK

Tuesday, October 29th 2013

Mary McLean is a member of the Owners Corporation Network, the national organisation for unit owners.  Mary encourages unit owners  to consider joining this owners' self-help and advocacy group.

OCN was established in February 2002 when representatives of a number of large, recently completed strata buildings found they had common challenges – building defects, expensive insurance, noisy neighbours - and wondered how best to manage the complex beast called ‘cooperative living’.

OCN is a network of owners helping owners – people who have experience in strata living; who have confronted many of its inherent problems; and who have evolved strategies for dealing with the problems that the rapid growth in apartment, villa and townhouse living inevitably brings. Our expertise is based not only on knowledge and experience, but on empathy – we understand the emotional impact of strata issues, as well as the legal, social and financial implications of living under a different set of rules from those that apply to free-standing homes. The issues faced by the owners also impact on residents - the building defects, poor governance, uncooperative neighbours and high rents due to high levies - and OCN speaks up for the whole strata community.

People can find out more about OCN through their website www.ocn.org.au

Consultation on Proposed Reforms

Sunday, July 29th 2012

 

Body Corporate and Community Management Regulations – Consultation on draft legislation

Consultation closing date extended to 1 December 2019.

The community and stakeholders are invited to have your say on proposed reforms to regulations under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act).

Most bodies corporate in Queensland are community titles schemes registered under the BCCM Act. The Act permits the creation and operation of community titles schemes in Queensland. There are also 5 regulation modules, which set out more detailed laws that bodies corporate must follow.

Learn more about the current regulation modules and which regulation module applies to your community titles scheme.

What is changing

New regulation modules are being prepared.

The new regulation modules will include reforms to streamline and modernise body corporate procedures, reduce body corporate costs and enhance protections for unit owners. A summary of the reforms to each regulation module is provided with the consultation draft of the regulation module below.

The reforms to the regulation modules have been developed after extensive stakeholder and community consultation about the recommendations of the review of property law in Queensland that was conducted by the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The changes included in the consultation drafts relate primarily to QUT’s recommendations about body corporate procedural issues, which were contained their report, Final recommendations: Procedural Issues under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (PDF, 1.4MB).

Insurance

Monday, June 18th 2012

The insurance a Body Corporate must have is affected by the type of survey plan the scheme is registered under.

The two common types of survey plan are:

  • Building Format Plan      
  • Standard Format Plan    

A body corporate must have insurance for their full replacement value for:

  • common property
  • body corporate assets
  • public risk
  • every building that contains a lot.

 The Body Corporate and Community Management Act makes it compulsory for Bodies Corporate to obtain professional insurance valuations at least every 5 years to make sure that the common property areas are properly covered.  The Valuation Report must be kept on the Body Corporate records.

Read more »

Committee Planning Calendar

Saturday, December 24th 2011

For smaller self-managed complexes, this committee planning calendar is very handy.

The financial year for a body corporate is not always the same as the tax year (1 July to 30 June). The financial year for your body corporate is determined by either the year the body corporate was set up or by the date of the first annual general meeting.

For schemes established under the BCCM Act, the financial year ends on the last day of the month, immediately before the month when the community titles scheme was established (e.g. if the scheme was established on 10 May 1998, the last day of the financial year is 30 April.

Levies have been based on 4 levy periods due 1 July; 1 October; 1 January; 1 April.

 

Read more »

Noise and Nuisance

Saturday, December 24th 2011

The Queensland govt has nuisance laws to help make Queensland a more liveable place. The laws aim to strike a balance between protecting our quality of life and the reasonable pursuit of activities that have the potential to annoy others.

The nuisance laws are complaint driven – that means a complaint must be made before a problem will be investigated. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted, but complaints will be kept confidential. Investigating officers have the power to issue warning notices, on-the-spot fines, or abatement notices. A warning notice may be issued first, with information on the laws and how to comply with the requirements.

Fines can be issued for common noise offences, usually after a warning notice has been issued. The minimum fine is $150 and the maximum is $600 for corporations not complying with abatement notices. Abatement notices can be issued for a number of offences relating to noise levels and emissions or fumes, light, odour and smoke. Abatement notices are issued to the person causing the nuisance and can require the person to stop the activities, or to reduce the nuisance to an acceptable level. People issued with fines and abatement notices can appeal against the decision. The Ipswich City Council website has a really useful resource for people who are concerned with noise coming from neighbours. (www.ipswich.qld.gov.au)

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When someone is being picked on or excluded

Saturday, December 24th 2011

No one likes to be picked on, but in meetings sometimes, particularly meetings where there are established, self-interested  cliques in control who exclude other lot owners, cruelty to other people happens.

You can be part of the solution

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Writing Motions for Meetings

Saturday, December 24th 2011

Any lot owner can submit a motion to be considered at a general meeting. Lot owners are invited to submit their motions when the initial notice of meeting is sent out.

This is an important opportunity for lot owners, particularly people who are not on committees to have their inputs. If you really believe, for example, that the barbecue needs to be replaced, here is your opportunity to submit a suitable motion accompanied by two quotes and an explanatory schedule explaining just why people should vote for the motion.

Read more »

Maintenance of the Complex

Saturday, December 24th 2011

Committee members and owners who want to work out just who is responsible for what maintenance items in a complex are encouraged to obtain a copy of two handouts from the Commissioners Office “Maintenance of Common property and lots” and “Maintenance Issues” which has a useful question and answer format.

Read more »

New Fire Regulations Impose More Obligations

Saturday, December 24th 2011

Most bodies corporate have quite severe new obligations under the Building regulations of the Fire Safety Act. The Queensland government has apparently reacted to horrifying situations where people living in close community have died (such as the Childers backpackers fire) by imposing stricter fire safety regulations on all people who occupy multiple dwellings. At first glance many of these obligations seem a bit over-reactive, however the more people consider their obligations to fellow citizens properly, the more sense they become.

We  encourage all committee people to make sure their complex complies with the laws, particularly the new fire regulations. It would be hard to live with yourself if you have a tragedy and had previously ignored statutory duties.

Read more »

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