Best practiceLegislation

April 2024 – Body corporate police

Fun fact! There are no body corporate policemen. The Queensland Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) legislation is overwhelming. The Act combined with the associated regulation together exceeds 600 pages. The documentation is extremely prescriptive. For a self managed scheme, this can be very helpful so that committees can use the documentation to administer their scheme. But it can also be very unhelpful because it is so prescriptive it is easy to fail to conform 100% of the time.

However, there are no body corporate policemen employed to check up on committees and their conformance. It is for concerned lot owners to hold committees to account by using the mechanisms provided within the legislation. Recourse to adjudication and conciliation through the BCCM commissioner’s office is the only lengthy pathway when lot owners do not agree with committee actions.

Scattered throughout the legislation are ‘penalties’ for developers, body corporate managers, committees, lot owners and lot occupiers. This could be for failing to perform certain tasks or failing to observe by-laws. It is possible, that an aggrieved party might succeed in obtaining an order that they must themselves enforce through the courts for a monetary penalty to be applied to the bad actor. With the exception of by-law enforcement by the committee against a lot owner or lot occupier, this outcome is rarely seen.

Committee members are volunteers who hopefully put the best interests of their scheme first before their own self interest. Our book, Queensland body corporate DIY – A handbook to self-management, can help committees on the straight and narrow.