Latest information

The latest Body Corporate Matters

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.

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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.

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Health and Safety Inspections

Saturday, December 24th 2011

In this increasingly litigious society, bodies corporate have to take safety very seriously. Under workplace health and safety legislation, owners of premises have specific obligations to maintain their property to minimise the potential for accidents to occur (called officially minimising risks) In practice this means commonly minimising the chances of slips, trips and falls

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Check Your Personal Liability

Saturday, December 24th 2011

If you are a committee member of the body corporate, we recommend that you check that the insurance cover for your building covers adequate office-holder liability insurance (also known as office bearers’ insurance).

If A Lot Owner Owes Body Corporate Levies

If levies are not paid on time, the whole body corporate suffers. There will not be enough money to cover the costs of maintaining the complex.

It is important that bad debts are attended to promptly.

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Settle Legal Problems Early

Saturday, December 24th 2011

The liability of a body corporate is unlimited. A Gold Coast newspaper article some years ago alerted those of us on committees to be very concerned about the possibility of escalating legal costs.

The report was of a case where a high rise body corporate (apparently through a decision of a committee chairman) had been ordered to pay costs of $200,000 to settle the dispute. Raising an extra $200,000 in levies is a frightening extra impost for owners and would be most difficult for the committee to explain.

A lawyer in that report stated that because the liability for bodies corporate is unlimited “bodies corporate should think hard before entering litigation”

 

Possibility of Defamation

Saturday, December 24th 2011

Owners are alerted to the danger of defamation at general meetings and committee meetings

The law of defamation enables people to protect their reputation by taking legal proceedings, often called defamation proceedings, against others whose actions or words are claimed to have damaged their reputation (Definition Source NSW ICAC)

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Air Conditioning

Thursday, December 22nd 2011

There is increasing interest in installing air conditioning in Queensland complexes. As property prices increase, the impetus to increase value by renovating has increased and improving facilities through air conditioning is very popular.

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By-Laws

Thursday, December 22nd 2011

The by-laws are a set of rules for a complex that 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.

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Adjudication

Thursday, December 22nd 2011

If the dispute is about a matter that is not suitable for conciliation or the conciliation may not have resolved the dispute, the matter can be dealt with by adjudication. An adjudicator has wide powers under the BCCM Act to rule on disputes.

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Conciliation

Thursday, December 22nd 2011

Conciliation is a process by which a trained Commissioners Office alternative dispute resolution practitioner encourages the parties to come up with a suitable solution to the matter, a solution that is possible under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act.

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