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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.

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

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

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?

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

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