Community Management & The Body Corporate

The following introduces unit owners and prospective purchasers to the role of community management and the body corporate, and outlines their rights and obligations as members of a body corporate under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act).

It is not intended to be an exhaustive guide to the operation of bodies corporate.

The legislation should be consulted as the primary reference.

The legislation

The Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act) is the Queensland legislation regulating bodies corporate. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of certain people associated with bodies corporate, particularly lot owners and tenants. The Department of Justice and Attorney-General administers the BCCM Act.

Dispute resolution and information services are provided by the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM Office) within the department. A number of regulation modules complement the BCCM Act and are designed to meet the needs of different types of community titles schemes. The regulation modules set out rules relating to committees, general meetings, financial and property management and insurance.

Every owner should know which regulation module applies to their scheme.

In this information sheet, the BCCM Act and the regulation modules are referred to as the legislation.

What is a ‘community titles scheme’ and a ‘body corporate’?

The term ‘community titles scheme’ refers to the area of land comprising the scheme.

The scheme contains the individually owned areas of land, called ‘lots’, together with the body corporate ‘common property’. The common property for a community titles scheme includes all parts of the complex that are not in a lot. Common property can include lawns, access roadways, stairs and infrastructure such as pipes and wiring.

All owners of lots within the scheme collectively make up ‘the body corporate’. Each owner automatically becomes a member of the body corporate on purchase of a lot. Owners are NOT able to decline to be body corporate members.

The role of the body corporate

The legislation provides a body corporate with the necessary powers to carry out its duties.

The body corporate:

Has a general responsibility to maintain, manage and control the common property for the benefit of owners

Must have public risk insurance over the common property to provide coverage for compensation for death, illness or injury and damage to property to at least $10 million for a single event

Management and control of common property and body corporate assets

Must keep records including minutes of general and committee meetings, a roll of owners, financial accounts and registers of assets, engagements and authorisations.

Determines the contributions payable by owners to fund the operation of the body corporate

Can establish rules, called ‘by-laws’, that relate to the:

Use and enjoyment of lots, common property and assets (these rules must be in the form of by-laws which can be enforced by the body corporate)

The body corporate makes decisions about these and other matters either at a general meeting or through an elected committee.

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