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What Obligations do Tenants have in a Body Corporate Scheme?

Tenants’ rights and obligations in a Body Corporate Scheme – are they the same as lot owners?  It’s a question we are often asked by both tenants and lot owners.

Do by-laws apply to tenants?

Tenants are considered “occupiers”, and the rules and regulations of the Scheme’s bylaws are applicable to both lot owners and occupiers.

In Qld, a tenant must be given a copy of the Schemes’ regulations and by-laws by the lessor (lot owner) or the lessor’s agent (property manager or leasing agent), when commencing a tenancy.

What kind of rules do tenants need to follow?

Every Scheme has their own set of bylaws, which are basically a set of rules used to control and manage common property areas, the body corporate assets, and the use of lots.

The bylaws, also applicable to tenants, generally include rules and regulations which are intended to improve the quality of life for all within the community.

Noise

As a tenant, you are entitled to live in peace and quiet, as are your neighbours.

  • You are responsible for ensuring that loud, offensive or inappropriate noise is not coming from your apartment,
  • There may be a specific “curfew” time when music or parties need to be shut down.
  • If you have an approved pet, noise regulations might also be applicable
  • The by-laws may contain details of the procedure to be followed to lodge a complaint about noise issues.

Pets

You may, or may not be entitled to keep a pet within your unit, depending on the by-laws.

It’s important to check this out before you enter into the Tenancy Agreement.

  • Are pets totally banned?
  • Are there certain types of pets allowed – eg: guide dogs?
  • If pets are allowed, do you need to obtain Committee permission first, and are there particular conditions?

Common Areas

Most by-laws have specific regulations about use of common areas. These could include things like:

  • Pools – rules on the use of the pool, including hours of use and supervision of children
  • Parking – which parking bay(s) are allocated to your unit, and the use of visitor parking bays. There might also be reference to storage of goods in unit parking bays, parking in driveways and contractor parking.
  • Washing – you will need to check if there’s any restrictions on hanging towels and washing over balcony railings.
  • Gardens – there might be rules around creating gardens, or playing sports or games in common areas

Unit Responsibilities

The landlord is generally responsible for repairs and maintenance of the unit, and the tenant is responsible for keeping the place clean and tidy.

Financially, the tenant is obliged to pay the agreed rent on time, and the lessor is obliged to pay body corporate levies on time.

The obligations and rights of landlords and tenants are covered by the Residential Tenancies Authority – see https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Renting/During-a-tenancy for further details.

We encourage all tenants and landlords to familiarise themselves with the RTA regulations, as these are quite different and separate to the rules and regulations relating to Scheme bylaws.

Tenant Rights

Interestingly many committees and lot owners believe that only lot owners are entitled to interact with the Committee. This is not actually true.

If a tenant wishes to discuss bylaw applicability or make a complaint about a breach of a bylaw, they have every right as an occupier to go through the normal Body Corporate communication channels to obtain the information and help they need.

However, we generally recommend that the issue be raised with the lessor or lessor’s agent first and allow them to represent your concerns to the Committee.  If the issue is ignored, then follow the body corporate procedures for lodging a complaint to the Committee.

What is most important when living in a strata community is to get to know your obligations and rights.  Everyone is entitled to a quiet and harmonious place to live, and respecting your neighbours,  whether they be lot owners or tenants, is the first step to receiving consideration in return.

By Kelly Borell

I have a Diploma in Business Management, Cert IV Property Services (Operations) and thoroughly enjoy working in the Strata Management industry. I particularly enjoy building a good rapport with people and providing reliable help.

6 replies on “What Obligations do Tenants have in a Body Corporate Scheme?”

I rent in holiday units through a real estate I had 2 guests over today & we went in the pool & the unit manager told my guests to get out of the pool as guests are not permitted to use the facilities

Hi Tracy,

Unless there are specific circumstances that may prevent the guests using the pool, such as a by-law restricting use, it would ordinarily be expected that they could access it. You can ask the manager to provide written evidence for their position and proceed from there. You could also make a complaint to the Body Corporate Committee.

Thanks,

Will

write to you as I need your help urgently please. I am currently homeless and this is at no fault of my own! In order for you to know why I write this I have to tell you the my story. I came here from country n.s.w in hope it would be a great place to bring my children up in and I wanted to give them a better life. But I realise now it was a bad move. I had a unit at 6/76 Ann Street South Gladstone, I had a great relationship with my landlords, but I find out later in the tenancy I was not given body corporate documents or even told about it at the start of the tenancy. It was a lapse on my landlords behalf. It wasn’t until I had put a caravan on which I had for camping ect. The landlords inform me that I had been breached my body corporate I told them I didn’t know what that was, they manipulated me to thinking I was the one in trouble, when infact it was them that were in the wrong as I was never informed of body corporate at all. I worked to remove the caravan and storage cost with other possessions as they were in breach aswell. I am a single mother all the costs then caused me to go into financial ruins. I became extremely depressed. I waiting for tribunal court notice as I had all the evidence to prove what am writing to you, the notice for tribunal was kept from me/ never given it, so to the tribunal court it would have looked as though i was in the wrong or didn’t care which was definitely not the case i just wasn’t notified . I then find a letter saying there was a warrent for forced possession. I didn’t know what to do and at same time I was going through domestic violence from my baby’s father whom was an ex and never lived at the residence but did stay at my residence occasionally before he became extremely violent. I told my ex i didn’t want to get back together as it was extremely unhealthy and i didn’t want that behaviour around my children. He then tried comit suicide and went into mental health but when released he asked to visit his son inwhich i told him if he was not abusive he could visit his child for few hours but he didn’t and i was forced to call the police whom put a DVO against him to protect me. I was so depressed things at home feel apart but I never stopped caring for my baby whom lived with me. I got sick and had to have a test for covid in which I then had to do 2 weeks quarantine.. five days into the quarantine the police arrived at the door .. I had put the notice on the door and they were aware but didn’t care yelling get out now, I told them I am in quarantine I can’t or I be in trouble they say get out now or I put you in remane. I tell them I am cooperating and didn’t know what remane was I was hold my infant son i was cooperative yet the officer was yelling at us to leave I ask if I can get some things for my son he reluctantly agreed but a officer followed as I held my son and struggled out the door with my babies possession not even having any shoes on my feet. They ask if I have anywhere to go I tell them no he shrugs and says well you can’t stay here I walk you down driveway and you can be on your way he says I say I call a taxi but what if I have covid it will be massive out break in the community. The officer looks at me like he really did not care shrugs his shoulder escorts me to taxi and I had to pay for motel rooms. The police have been harrasing me for the original notice of forced quarantine as they heard I was going to the media with this. The harrasment got worse they put in multiple false claims including one to DOC telling them it wasn’t a warrant for forced possession but it was a drug raid which was definitely not the case they then put false allegations and a dvo against me for my ex and had named my son on it to stay 50 mtr from him and my son. My son was in my care 100% so I feel it was another way to make this all go away so they didn’t get in trouble for the covid breach. Then department of child services came and took my baby cause all the false allegations they had told them, I love my son I am all he has and we have never been apart not even for few hours his whole life. Its been three weeks since they took my son at all they won’t let me see him because of the false order the police had made against me. My ex told them it was all false allegations and never wanted the dvo in the first place but they did it anyway. I have court tomorrow as my ex requested the dvo to be removed and the allegations were false and that them taking my son was detrimental to our child’s life and I am a good mother. But to get it removed they say is near impossible and I only missed the first hearing because I run from Gladstone out of fear from the police as they were non stop harrasing me and currently still are but I am no longer in there jurisdiction but that hasn’t stopped them. I have gone through hell .. i really need your help and I swear everything I have written here is the truth. I have solid evidence of all of this including the quarantine notice messages and all my calls have been recorded since start of the assaults from my ex so everything from start of this has been recorded including the attemps by Gladstone police to manipulate me in sending them the original quarantine notice to them in another attempt to make this all go away to avoid them being reprimanded. A report was made to police link but Rockhampton police are also investigating the matter. I thank you for reading this and hope you take everything I said seriously as this is an extremely Urgent matter and has ruined my son and I lives all because the Gladstone police did the wrong thing and breached covid rules and the real estates and body corporate and all others involved also in the wrong. I will not let the police use there abuse of power to manipulate me in staying quiet .I will do everything it takes to stop all of this and put an end to this ruining my son and I lives and I want my baby back with me. I am fighting all of this in court and but I need help against the police they have ruined my life and lies to the courts and to department of child services to point my near to year old child is in the custody of docs ..all i did was report a real covid breach of quarantine regulations by a warrant for possession of the rental property.. now on that warrant it states this warrant can only be taken out if there i a good reason for it not to be and i think not risking the lives of the public with a massive outbreak if i had of been positive for it .. they were going walk me down the road and leave me homeless in a place i know absolutely noone at all .. I moved there at the start of the rental property that hid tribunal notice so i did not attend and win against the landlords inwhich I had all evidence to prove everything and they changed hands with realestate whom along with landlords were discussing everything about me and caused a massive seen out front when I was at my neighbour house for playmate for our kids who are near 2yo and duringthis scene I stayed in side with my baby and I record the landlords and real estate discussing me with the man in units across but i also see my ex whom i have a dvo against and they knew i was i was victim of domestic violence and it is against the law for realestate to discuss a domestic violence victim as it could put a victim at risk and the did to other tenants in surrounding units and my ex turned up and walked to realestate lady and to landlords and on video i recording them while i was hiding by that point from all of them and the were discussing my situation to my ex as well who i had a dvo against and never lived with at all at that residence the realestate should not put on there data bases anything either by law in this situation.. the landlords damage my caravan by screwing its doors shut steal it in which they did and I have police report on that to and the hell I am going through when I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place on have alot of hard evidence to prove everything . Its the most horrible wrong doings and abuse of powerIby so many but the worst and most damaging with from the Gladstone police all because I reported them for a covid regulation breach..the abuse of power i have ever seen in my life that has most definitely ruined my child and I lives! I thank you for your time and hope to here from you soon

Hi I applied for unit eith the owner of a rental unit and she approved me over the phone and went into department of housing commission to sign my bond loan snd rental grant papers which . I viewed the property with the real estate agent and filled out a rental application and was approved by the property owner and I got a approval from the real estate agent anf i signed the lease and and signed the received bond loan approval paper’s which was 4 weeks and 2 weeks plus i deposited 1 weeks extra on top to the real estate agent i received this signed lease agreement signed by the real estate agent and was handed the keys and code to the building I also received the entry form to fill out on arrival.then i received a email saying I csnt move in because the building is body corporate and I need 3 character references before I get approval for the property i was not advised by the owner or real estate agent about this until I signed everything at the real estate advised me in a email .ive emailed the body corporate caretaker for the building but they are saying im not approved anf i need a appointment. Ive emailed but still no appointment time please call me asap or email e thanks

My property manager and his family are trying to push me around. Himself and his wife have entered my yard without permission a few times, theres now a padlock on my gate. They attempt to peer through my windows, they park in my parking space, they keep leaving bags of trash in front of my gate to my yard which is attracting pests. When confronted the wife threatens to have her son beat me or my guests up and as far as I know her son is a trained fighter. I am an Epileptic and I need my parking space clear at all times for emergency vehicles, and the property manager knows this, they have seen me be taken away in an ambulance a few times now. I feel like I have no privacy and I now feel unsafe with these threats of physical harm. Can someone please help me?

Can you please tell me if I have a right to put items in my car port? The neighbour down stairs is calling my landlord all the time & now they are both bullying me to dump them, im at the end of my rope

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