Every thought that you should join the Body Corporate Committee?
Body Corporate Committees are made up of Lot Owners who are interested in ensuring that their Scheme is managed well, because after all, no one has as much invested as Lot Owners.
It’s well worth getting involved, because without a Committee who takes an proactive role in protecting their residence and investment, things can deteriorate, and your investment loses value. Levy payments can slide, maintenance and cleaning is not done as often as it should be, legislative compliance is not met, and before you know it, you have a property which is not a comfortable place to live in, and could be difficult to sell.
You have two options.
- Join the Body Corporate Committee and take an active role. It is important that everything is done in compliance with your State regulations, and in a timely and effective manner; so it is essential to familiarise yourself with these requirements. Body Corporate Committees are either effective or ineffective. Sometimes apathy, personal agendas and disputes can hamper effectiveness.
- Talk with Lot Owners about appointing a good Body Corporate Manager to ensure things are done correctly, on time, and with Lot Owners’ interests at heart.
Who is Eligible to Join a Body Corporate Committee?
Lot owners who are investors and Lot owners who live onsite are both eligible to join their Body Corporate Committee.
However to be elected to Committee, there must be no outstanding debts. If they owe a debt to the Body Corporate when nominating, or when the committee members are chosen (i.e. at the AGM/EGM) they will be deemed ineligible. So if you want to join the Committee – make sure your levy payments are up to date!
When Can You Apply?
Nominations for Committee are called each year prior to the end of the Body Corporate’s Financial Year.
The Secretary or Body Corporate Manager must call for nominations by sending out the notice to all Lot owners at least 3 weeks prior, but not more than 6 weeks prior to the end of the financial year.
The nominations must be received no later than the last day of the Body Corporate’s financial year. Any nominations received after that date will be invalid. A nomination will also be invalid if the owners are ‘unfinancial’ at the time of nomination – which means if they owe a debt to the Body Corporate (i.e. are overdue with their levies or any other payments that are due).
How Many People Are on the Committee?
To form a valid committee (in Queensland), you need a minimum of 3 members and a maximum of 7 members, and the positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer must be filled, with any remaining Ordinary Positions to be filled, if applicable.
If you receive more than the required number of nominations for any of the positions, then a ballot must be held at the general meeting. This is usually held by Secret Ballot, but not always – depends on what the building requires.
Ballot papers are then posted to all owners with at least 3 weeks notice of the General meeting, along with the agenda for the rest of the meeting, and voting papers for the motions.
In the case of a ballot, at the meeting, the Committee is elected in the following order – Chairperson, then Secretary, then Treasurer, then any remaining Ordinary Member positions.
If you receive less than or equal to the number of nominations required to fill the positions, then those owners who have nominated will automatically be elected to Committee without the need for a ballot.
Pros and Cons of Being Involved
The downside of joining your Committee is that it can take up your time. You will need to attend meetings, and depending on your role – you may have administrative things to do, in a certain way, by the due dates. You may also not agree with the way the Committee is being run, or personal agendas or power plays.
The upside is that you can take an active role in working with other Lot Owners to ensure that your common interests are heard and voted on, and that the value of your investment is protected. Nothing you want will ever be accomplished by ignoring it and hoping someone else will do it.