The Body Corporate (BC) is the mechanism for taking are of the common property for the lot owners. It is the legal entity that is created when a Community Titles Scheme (CTS) is registered with the Department of Natural Resources.
The body corporate deals with either physical property issues or issues relating to people living together. Physical property includes gardens, tennis courts, driveways etc. and issues relating to people living together include parking, behaviour and noise.
The Body Corporate (BC) is responsible for the repair and maintenance of common property. The lot owner is responsible for their lot.
Bodies Corporate are not allowed to spend any joint money on works that benefit only an individual lot, as it’s not fair use of their funds. The key to responsibilities lies in the scheme for your building; Standard Format Plan (SFP) or Building Format Plan (BFP).
Your BCM is appointed by the committee to perform tasks such as the role of secretary or treasurer for the committee. The BCM can also advise the committee and help them to navigate the processes and legislation as it relates to their scheme. For a lot of schemes your BCM maintains your records and controls your finances which can sometimes seem like they are in charge when actually they are not.
Your BCM acts according to the instructions of the committee. All decisions of the body corporate are made by all the lot owners by voting on motions that have been submitted in accordance with legislation.
The committee is made up of lot owners or people who are involved in the running of the body corporate and are in charge of: looking after the administrative and day-to-day running of the body corporate, making decisions on behalf of the body corporate, and putting the lawful decisions of the body corporate into place.
The committee can make decisions by calling a committee meeting or by voting outside a committee meeting.
The boundaries for common property and individual lots appear on your plan for your scheme – whether your building is a building format plan or a standard format plan. Defining the boundaries is important for deciding who is responsible for what.
Your committee is responsible for addressing and planning maintenance at your building in the common areas. The process can break down when the committee doesn’t act quickly or when they are not actively involved in decision-making. If you have emailed your committee with a repair request the committee will table the correspondence to be discussed at the next meeting.
It can also be difficult initially to determine whether the repair is a lot owners or BC responsibility. More about responsibilities here
Regular and predictable maintenance e.g. Gardening, is budgeted for and this spending budget is the basis for your levy payments. Every other issue that arises needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. The budget is often tight and quite often waiting for funds to become available can be the reason that repairs take so long to arrange.
The correct tradesperson needs to be sourced, quotes need to be obtained, work needs to be authorised, monitored and inspected by the committee before payment can be made to the tradesperson.
All owners pay a contribution (levy) that’s agreed to at the annual general meeting.
Contributions usually go up if new work needs to be done or additional expenses pop up. If you’re an owner you can vote against an increase or put up a motion for a different amount if you want. Body corporate managers can also put forward a motion for an increase in contributions.
By being actively involved in the running of a body corporate you can have a real say in how funds are spent and how projects are planned, so get involved!
The opportunity to elect new committee members occurs at each Annual General Meeting (AGM) of your body corporate. The secretary must serve notice on each owner, inviting nominations for the election of chairperson, secretary, treasurer or ordinary member of the committee. Remember, unless the body corporate resolves otherwise, this election must be by secret ballot.
There are two major reasons that make the claim process a lengthy one: The claims process for the Insurance Company, and The way Bodies Corporate operate.
BC insurance claims are a lot more complicated than personal ones. Claims can be single or multiple depending on the damage and the areas affected (common property or lot owner’s property)
The process involving multiple people and communication channels is another reason why the process can be interrupted. Assessors, insurance companies, the committee, tradespeople, property managers, tenants, lot owners, can all be involved in an insurance claim in some way. To make any decision requires a meeting of the committee or a vote on a motion which can take some time. Even the simple act of obtaining quotes may require weeks or months before the committee can meet again to instruct the Body Corporate Manager. The works still can’t begin until the insurer make their final decision and at times the volume of claims (for example after a storm) can delay that process.
Your committee may consider pet approvals on a case by case basis. If you are a tenant and your lease says that your owner allows pets, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the body corporate will allow them and you will still need to apply, as each pet must be applied for. Approval for previous tenants to have a pet in your apartment is not going to guarantee your pet’s acceptance.
Start by filling out a Pet Application form to be submitted to the committee for approval. You can also find the form on the Body Corporate page of our website.
The acceptance of your pet may be subject to certain rules or Body Corporate By-laws controlling pets. If you are a non-registered owner (e.g. prospective buyer or tenant) your application is subject to a $65 inc GST application fee which needs to be paid prior to a decision being returned. You will also need to supply a certificate from a vet with regard to your pet’s health and other vital information. You will also need to complete one form per animal. Please return your form to . Payment details are on the form and credit cards are accepted over the phone – please call 07 3848 0655 (press 1 for reception)
Emergency Repairs for Body Corporate clients – December 2019
Should you require a contractor outside of our office hours for emergency works only, please call the relevant contractor as listed below:-
AK Blair (Plumber) – 3394 4575
RTL Trades (Plumber/Electrician) – 0402 089 128
Austnet (Electrician) – 0433 911 110
SES – 13 25 00
Please note that any work orders outside of normal trading hours will incur higher call out fees. Should the works not be deemed as an emergency, the caller may be responsible for all costs incurred.