Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Body Corporate?
A Body Corporate is an incorporation of owners under the same Community Titles Scheme. The Body Corporate is governed by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (QLD). The Body Corporate shares common property (such as pools, lawns and driveways) and is responsible for the maintenance of that common property. Body corporates are also required to maintain insurance for the common areas of the scheme.
What is a Community Titles Scheme (CTS)?
A Community Titles Scheme (CTS) comprises individually owned lots or units, and common property. It makes it possible for individual owners of parts of a building to share common areas with other owners. A CTS may consist of residential unit blocks, high rise accommodation, shopping centres, duplexes or similar.
What is a Committee?
A Committee comprises no more than seven members and NO LESS than three members. A Committee is required to fill at least three executive positions (Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary), with each position being held by one person. A Committee makes day-to-day decisions relating to the scheme and is responsible for enforcing by-laws. If there is no Building Manager, a Committee is responsible for sourcing quotes and ensuring essential maintenance is carried out throughout the Scheme.
What is the role of a Body Corporate Manager?
A Body Corporate Manager is an engaged contractor responsible for administering the secretarial and financial obligations of the Community Titles Scheme. Body Corporate Managers are responsible for ensuring that invoices are paid, meetings are organised and that correspondence is issued to all owners. A Body Corporate Manager may perform additional duties subject to their agreement.
What is the role of a Chairperson?
The Chairperson is mainly responsible for chairing and conducting meetings. The Chairperson is normally appointed as the liaison between the Committee and the Body Corporate Manager. The Chairperson does not have voting rights or any executive authority to act on behalf of the Committee.
What is the role of a Committee Secretary?
In most cases, a Body Corporate Manager will conduct the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary, in accordance with their agreement. Otherwise, the Secretary is responsible for keeping and maintaining Body Corporate records, attending to ingoing and outgoing correspondence, and calling all General and Committee meetings.
What is the role of a Committee’s Treasurer?
Similar to the role of the Secretary, a Body Corporate Manager will typically carry out the duties of the Treasurer. In a self-managed Body Corporate, the Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the Body Corporate bank account, preparing financial documentation, authorising invoices and managing levies on behalf of lot owners.
What is the role of an Ordinary Committee Member?
Ordinary Committee Members are appointed by lot owners to assist the Executive Committee. They are required to attend all Committee Meetings, unless:
- Convicted of an indictable offence
- Failure to attend (in person or by proxy) two (2) consecutive Committee meetings without prior approval
- Provision of written resignation to Chairperson or Secretary
- Removed from office by ordinary resolution of the Body Corporate
What is the role of a Non-Voting Committee Member?
Non-Voting Members are automatically elected to the Committee, and can include either the Body Corporate Manager or the service contractor for the scheme. They have the right to attend meetings, but are not included when a quorum is being counted.
The Committee can also request the Non-Voting Member not be in attendance when discussing the following:
- Any disputes between the Body Corporate, any lot owner or occupier and the Body Corporate Manager
- The engagement of a Body Corporate Manager
- Any other items the Committee may consider irrelevant to the Body Corporate Manager
How does a person nominate for Committee positions?
Nominations are called for each position three to six weeks prior to the Body Corporate’s financial year end. If vacancies exists at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), nominations will be called for and low owners may nominate one person – either themselves, another lot owner (with acceptance from the nominee), or a family member. Nominations are considered invalid if:
- They are received after the Body Corporate’s financial year end or;
- The person making the nomination is in financial debt to the Body Corporate at the time of nomination.
Both the nominee and person making the nomination must be financial at the time of nomination and election.
If there are more than seven lots in a scheme, and an owner owns more than two of those lots in the same name, they may only nominate a maximum of three people to the Committee. If there are less than six lots in a scheme, regardless of ownership, they may only nominate two Committee members.
If only one nomination is received for the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer positions, the nominee will be automatically elected. If more than one nomination is received, the Body Corporate must conduct either an open or secret ballot to select a candidate. If nominations are not received for these roles, nominations will be called from the floor.
What is a General Meeting?
Any Annual General Meeting (AGM) or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) are considered General Meetings. An AGM must be called and held within three months after the end of the scheme’s financial year (the first AGM is the exception to this rule).
How is a General Meeting called?
A General Meeting can be called by:
- The Secretary
- Another member of the Committee
- A person authorised by the Committee to call a General Meeting
What three pieces of legislation cover Fire Safety in Queensland?
The Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008, the Building Code of Australia, and the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990.
What is the role of a Building Manager?
A Building Manager is an engaged contractor responsible for ensuring that common areas of the building are properly maintained. A Building Manager may either work on-site or off-site. Working on-site requires the Building Manager to live at the property and work a standard amount of hours per week as specified by their agreement. An off-site Building Manager may have different requirements, so it’s important that you understand your management agreement. A Building Manager will also frequently be the letting agent for the scheme.
As a lot owner, am I entitled to attend Committee Meetings?
Yes, but you are not permitted to cast a vote at the meeting. The Committee and lot owners must also follow these rules:
- You must give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice (in writing) to the Secretary that you want to attend (this can be given to the Body Corporate Manager)
- You can only speak if invited to speak by the Committee. Your invitation to speak can be revoked at any time, and you can be asked to leave if you speak without invitation.
- You must not be present at the meeting if the Committee discusses the following:
- A breach of the by-laws for the Community Titles Scheme;
- Starting a proceeding, if it is not a restricted issue for the Committee;
- A proceeding against the Body Corporate
- A dispute between the Body Corporate and:
- The owner or occupier of a lot included in the scheme
- A Body Corporate Manager
- A caretaking service contractor
- A Committee vote on an item of business that you may be subject to
How do I submit an Agenda Item?
A motion for consideration may be submitted at a General Meeting at any time by a member of the Body Corporate or the Committee. A motion submitted by a member of the Body Corporate can be included on an AGM agenda only if the Secretary receives the motion before the end of the Body Corporate’s financial year immediately prior to the meeting.
When the notice for an AGM calling for Committee nominations is forwarded to the Body Corporate, it must also include an opportunity to submit motions for inclusion on the agenda for the meeting.
What classes of buildings are affected by Fire Safety legislation?
All Class 2 to Class 9 buildings.
What is a Certificate of Classification and how may it be obtained?
A Certificate of Classification describes the way in which a building can be used. Buildings can be Residential, Commercial or Holiday Accommodation. To obtain a Certificate of Classification, the building must be complete, and all electrical, mechanical and hydraulic services must be installed and operational. A Certificate of Classification can be obtained from the building certifier who inspects and approves the building work, or from your local government.
What is the difference between Low Occupancy and High Occupancy buildings?
- A Low Occupancy Building is less than 25 meters high. A High Occupancy building is defined by the Queensland Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008 as one of the following:
- A Class 2 or 3 Building higher than 25 meters
- A Class 2, 5, 6, 7b, 8, 9a, or 9b building that is a workplace:
- Prescribed under the Workplace Health & Safety Regulations 2008, section 56 and;
- Where 30 or more workers are normally employed within the meaning of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995, section 93(5)
- A Class 6 or 9b building that the Commissioner has decided is an “at risk” licensed building under section 104KD of the Fire Service Act