Body Corporate By-Laws are a set of rules that enable the Body Corporate to control and manage common property areas, the body corporate assets, and the use of lots.
Whether you’re a non-resident investor, an owner occupier or a tenant, you are required to abide by these by-laws.
It’s a good idea to give new purchasers and residents a copy of the by-laws so they understand what they cover, and so they don’t inadvertently breach a rule.
Who Creates the By-Laws?
Your Body Corporate can choose to adopt the standard by-laws that are set out in Schedule 4 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (QLD) or it can make its own.
To make new ones or change existing ones involves passing a motion by Special Resolution at a General Meeting (AGM or EGM).
The Community Management Statement (CMS) is the document that records the by-laws that apply to your scheme, which is registered with the Department of Natural Resources & Mines (DNRM – Titles Office) and a by-law comes into effect on the day that the new/amended CMS is registered.
New or amended by-laws must comply with the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997. There’s a few things the by-laws can’t do including discrimination and certain restrictions on use, sale, lease etc.
Who Enforces the By-Laws?
Your Body Corporate is responsible for enforcing its own by-laws, and ensuring that owners and residents comply.
However to maintain harmony for all, it’s best to try to and discuss it in a friendly manner, because they may be unaware they are breaching the by-laws, and the situation may be resolved easily and on good terms.
If this approach fails and the breach continues, the the Body Corporate may issue either a Continuing Contravention Notice or a Future Contravention Notice, requesting that they remedy the breach in a certain period of time.
If this is ignored, the matter can then be referred to the Magistrates Court, or the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate & Community Manager (BCCM).
In summary, your Body Corporate By-laws are basically a set of rules that are designed to maintain order and harmony, which is often needed when you have a lot of people living in close proximity to each other.