By-Laws are a set of rules for a complex that allow a Body Corporate to control things like common property and assets and regulate a variety of matters, including the keeping of animals, noise and parking. The set of by-laws that are for your complex should have been included in your purchase documents if you are an owner or in your lease if you are a tenant.
The Community Management Statement (CMS) for your complex, available from the Land Titles Office, Department of Natural Resources, will normally include your official by-laws. Body Corporate Matters can order a CMS for your Body Corporate from the Titles Office if required.
A Body Corporate may make additional by-laws, or amend or repeal existing by-laws, provided they comply with the BCCM Act
The Body Corporate may make specific by-laws allowing it to administer, manage and control common property and body corporate assets and regulate the use and enjoyment of lots, common property, asset, services and amenities supplied by the body corporate.
To formalise a by-law, the body corporate must consent to a new Community Management Statement (CMS) at a general meeting. A new CMS identifying the changes to the by-laws must be consented to by special resolution.
The Body Corporate is responsible for enforcing its by-laws. The committee is usually responsible for ensuring all owners and occupiers comply with the by-laws.
Owners and occupiers can use a simple form to alert committees to a breach of the by-laws. This form is called “Notice to body corporate of contravention of a body corporate by-law (Form BCCM1)” available free of charge through the Commissioners Office phone 1800 060 119. The committee then serve the offender with either a “Continuing Contravention Notice (Form BCCM 10)” or a “Future Contravention Notice (Form BCCM 11)” to commence enforcement action. These forms are also available from the Commissioners Office phone 1800 060 119.
The Body Corporate through the committee may give a continuing contravention notice to an owner or occupier where it reasonably believes that the person is contravening a by-law, and, where, given the circumstances, it is likely that the contravention will continue, eg an owner parked on common property without approval.
The purpose of this notice is to require the person to remedy the contravention.
The Body Corporate may serve a future contravention notice on an owner or occupier if it reasonably believes that the person has contravened a by-law and the circumstances of the contravention make it likely that the contravention will be repeated eg an owner has a noisy party which contravenes the noise by-law
The Body Corporate may give the owner notice that if this contravention is repeated, proceedings can be commenced in the Magistrates Court without any further notice. The purpose of the future contravention notice is to require the person not to repeat the contravention.
If an owner or occupier fails to comply with a contravention notice, the committee, or the Body Corporate in a general meeting, can decide to commence enforcement proceedings in the Magistrates Court (which can impose a fine up to $1,750) or to the Commissioner’s Office.
If an owner or occupier reasonably believes that another owner or occupier has contravened the by-laws and it is likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated, that person must make a complaint to the Body Corporate on BCCM Form 1 asking the Body Corporate to issue a contravention notice.
If the body corporate does not respond to the request within 14 days, the complainant may make a dispute application with the Commissioner’s Office.
The body corporate or an individual complainant may take action in a dispute resolution application through the Commissioner’s Office without this preliminary action if there are “special circumstances”, including when contraventions are likely to cause injury to persons or serious damage to property or a risk to the health and safety of persons or are causing a serious nuisance to persons.
For more information go to the By-laws handout available from the Commissioner’s Office phone 1800 060 119 or through https://www.qld.gov.au/law/housing-and-neighbours/body-corporate/bccm