Faqs

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Body Corporate Legislation

A body corporate is a separate legal entity, comprised of all the lot owners within the complex. A body corporate is governed by specific legislation and by its own by-laws. There are a variety of structures and types of bodies corporate permitted under the Act. For your information, the Corporations Law does not apply to a body corporate.

Common property

The common property for a body corporate is owned by all the owners of lots included in the scheme as tenants in common. The share of ownership is proportionate to the interest lot entitlements. An owner's interest in a lot is inseparable from the owner's interest in the common property.

Common property includes: land within the scheme not forming part of a lot; utility infrastructure within the scheme; and body corporate assets.

The body corporate must administer the common property and body corporate assets for the benefit of the owners of the lots included in the scheme. The maintenance and upkeep of common property is usually contracted out to a caretaker or building manager.

Community Management Statement

This is a document which is specific for every body corporate in Queensland and is recorded in the Titles Office to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Each Community Management Statement (CMS) is comprised of five schedules, each one holding relevant information about the body corporate.

Schedule A

    Two lot entitlements schedules:

  • Contribution schedule determines the amount of levies; and the voting power of lot owners.
  • Interest schedule determines the amount of rates/taxes; insurance premiums and the share of ownership of common property by each lot owner.

Schedule B

  • If the body corporate is being constructed in stages, this schedule outlines the details of the progressive development until all areas are completed.

Schedule C

  • This schedule contains body corporate by-laws. The by-laws are the rules governing the body corporate which are binding on all members of the body corporate and occupiers of the lots. The by-laws specify such things as:- the permitted use of lots and facilities; the behaviour of owners and their visitors on common property; the keeping of animals; the appearance of lots; damage to common property; repairs and alterations to a lot and common property; and the recovery of monies, among other things.

Schedule D

  • Provides for any architectural or landscape codes to form a covenant on lots within the body corporate.

Schedule E

  • Lists details of any exclusive use provision granted to lot owners.

Body Corporate Levies

Body corporate levies are issued by the body corporate to pay for such items as:- the building manager's salary; the body corporate manager; other service contractors, and the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the common property, plus insurance and electricity.

The levies are divided into two (2) separate funds:

Administrative Fund

The administrative fund is for regular recurring expenditure and includes payments to service contractors, ongoing maintenance and repairs and the upkeep of common property.

Sinking Fund

The sinking fund is a separate fund where money is put aside for future non-recurring maintenance (eg: painting of exterior surfaces) and the purchase of new body corporate assets.

See also the FAQ "Why do I pay body corporate levies?"

General Meetings

A general meeting is a meeting of all members of the body corporate. At a general meeting, resolutions are passed among other things:- to confirm the annual accounts; set budgets and levies; determine if an audit is required; and any other issue that requires a general meeting resolution. The last item of the agenda at every annual general meeting is the election of the committee.

The legislation prescribes the format of general meetings; the types of resolutions required; and who is eligible to vote.

Committee Meetings

Committee meetings are meetings of the committee members, and are held at regular intervals throughout the year.

The committee is comprised of the elected representatives of the owners and operates in a similar way to a board of directors to a company. The committee is made up of the following members:

  • Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Ordinary members of Committee.

For details regarding these positions, please refer to the FAQ "The Role of the Body Corporate Committee"

The Role of the Body Corporate Committee

Essentially, the committee is charged with the day to day administration of the body corporate.

Body corporate committee

The committee is usually elected at each annual general meeting and contains at least three and not more than seven members. The committee consists of the executive members, (chairperson, secretary and treasurer) and the ordinary members. The committee is charged with the responsibility to implement the decisions of the body corporate. Consequently, they must arrange for any resolutions passed by the body corporate in a general meeting to be carried out, whether it be to send levy notices based on the budget, obtain quotes or carry out works. The committee also has the power to act for the body corporate. A decision of the committee is a decision of the body corporate, unless it is a restricted issue for the committee, in which case it does not have the power to make a decision on that issue.

Restricted issues for the committee include -

  • Any decision which requires an ordinary resolution, majority resolution, special resolution, or resolution without dissent
  • Fixing or changing a levy
  • Expenditure above the relevant limit for committee spending (number of lots by $200 if Body Corporate operates in the Standard Module or Accommodation Module)
  • Commencing a legal proceeding (other than recovery of levies), and Making a decision on an issue where the body corporate has decided it is a restricted issue for the committee (e.g. the body corporate may decide that consent to the assignment of management rights is to be a restricted issue for the committee)

Powers and Duties

The powers and duties of the committee include -
  • Keeping full and accurate records of meeting resolutions
  • Carrying out resolutions passed either at a committee meeting or on voting outside a committee meeting
  • Carrying out resolutions passed at a general meeting
  • Approving a transfer of any management rights
  • Preparing proposed budgets for adoption at each annual general meeting
  • Issuing of body corporate information certificates
  • Making available the books and records for inspection by an interested person
  • Giving notice of levy contributions (after they have been fixed at a general meeting)
  • Carrying out spending above the relevant limit for committee spending if:
    • specifically authorised by ordinary resolution of the body corporate
    • all owners have given written consent
    • an adjudicator is satisfied it is required to meet an emergency situation, or
    • to comply with an order, notice or judgment

Delegation of Powers

A body corporate cannot delegate its powers. However, under Chapter 3, Part 5 of the Standard and Accommodation Module Regulations, the body corporate may engage a body corporate manager and authorize the body corporate manager to carry out all the functions of the committee and each executive member of the committee. A special voting process is outlined in the Legislation to ensure the evoking of this Division is sought by the body corporate and is to be used in cases where the committee and or executive members of committee cannot operate. The body corporate may also engage a body corporate manager and authorise the body corporate manager in writing to exercise the powers of the secretary and treasurer of the Body Corporate under the Act and the Regulation. Despite this authorisation, the body corporate must not prevent the committee, or an executive member of the committee, from exercising an authorized power, or from directing a body corporate manager about how powers of the secretary and treasurer are to be exercised. This means despite anything in a contract between the body corporate and the body corporate manager, a decision of the body corporate manager is void to the extent that it is inconsistent with a decision of the committee. This also means if the regulation module states the committee or an executive member must carry out a function, then it cannot be done by the body corporate manager unless specifically instructed by the committee or the executive member to do so.

Liability of Committee

Usually committee members take on this role in an unpaid capacity and it is for this reason they should be protected against any legal action which may be taken for any lawful decisions they have made. Section 48A of the Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980 and of the Southbank Corporation Act (pursuant to the Schedule headed Modified Building Units and Group Titles Act (BUGTA) provided that no action shall lie against a committee member for any decision made in good faith and without negligence under the authority of BUGTA. No such provision has been included in the Body Corporate Community Management Act. It is therefore understandable that the body corporate normally takes out errors and omissions liability insurance for the protection of its committee members.

Treasurer Responsibilities

Although a treasurer must be elected each year, there is no specific mention of the role of the treasurer in the Body Corporate and Community Management Act or Regulation Modules. Specific reference is made in other forms of Body Corporate Legislation utilised in Queensland. The treasurer's role is usually associated with the financial arrangements such as:-
  • Preparing a budget for adoption by the body corporate
  • Sending notices of levy contributions or other amounts payable by lot owners
  • Payment and recovery of contributions, and
  • Keeping account records and preparation of annual accounts for presentation to the annual general meeting
Where a body corporate manager has been engaged by the body corporate, it is usual for these duties to be carried out by the body corporate manager.

Secretary Responsibilities

The secretary has a number of important duties under the prevailing legislation. Even though the body corporate may authorise the Community Manager to exercise the powers of the Secretary, this may not prevent the Secretary from exercising a delegated power or directing the Community Manager about how powers are to be exercised. The Secretary's specific duties are summarised below:- Committee Election The secretary coordinates the committee election, including -
  • Serving a notice on each lot owner inviting nominations for positions on the committee
  • Acknowledging receipt of nominations
  • Preparing ballot papers (either secret or open), if an election ballot is necessary
  • Forwarding the ballot paper and ballot paper envelope with the notice of the annual general meeting
  • Giving a ballot paper to a voter at an annual general meeting, if the voter has not previously completed a ballot paper
  • Holding the completed ballot papers received before the annual general meeting pending the election, and
  • Delivering the completed ballot papers to the person chairing the meeting
Committee Meetings   The secretary coordinates committee meetings by -
  • Calling committee meetings
  • Calling a committee meeting if requested in writing by enough committee members to form a quorum
  • Giving notice of committee meetings:
  • to committee members
  • to lot owners (unless the lot owner has instructed he/she does not wish to receive a copy of the notice)
  • by placing a copy of the notice on the body corporate's notice board (if it has one)
  • sending a copy of committee resolutions (or minutes) to lot owners, unless the lot owner has instructed he/she does not wish to receive a copy of the resolution (or minutes)
General Meetings The Secretary's role in general meetings includes -
  • Asking for submission of motions to be included on the agenda for the annual general meeting (this is done at the same time as calling nominations)
  • Having available for inspection by voters:
  • the roll
  • a list of persons who have the right to vote, and
  • proxy forms and voting papers
  • The secretary would carry out other tasks such as:
  • providing a copy of the minutes to each lot owner,
  • attending to inward and outward correspondence,
  • keeping the records accurate and up-to-date, and
  • other administrative functions
Serving and Receiving Notices As well as carrying out the functions specified in the legislation, various notices and other documents must be served on or given to the secretary. These include -
  • Written voting paper before the start of a general meeting unless a returning officer is appointed
  • Notice of a requested extraordinary general meeting
  • Nominations for committee positions
  • Ballot paper before or at the annual general meeting
  • Notice calling a committee meeting by enough committee members to form a quorum
  • Notice by lot owner that he/she does not wish to receive committee meeting notices
  • Notice by lot owner that he/she does not wish to receive committee meeting resolutions (or minutes)
  • Notice of opposition of committee resolution
  • Proxy from committee member before the start of a committee meeting
  • Proxy from a lot owner before the start of a general meeting
  • Proof of the representative capacity if a notice has been given to enter particulars on the roll concerning the representative of the owner, and
  • Details of a corporate lot owner's nominee and any change of nominee.
Many of the above duties are carried out by a body corporate manager as part of the agreed services under a body corporate administration agreement. However, where the legislation specifically provides that the secretary or returning officer must carry out a stated function, the body corporate manager cannot carry out that function unless authorised by the secretary or returning officer to do so.

Chairperson Responsibilities

The chairperson has a number of duties concerning the conduct of meetings. If the chairperson is not at a meeting, then a person entitled to vote is elected to chair the meeting. The chairperson is entitled to call a committee meeting in the secretary's absence.

General Meetings (AGM or EGM) Duties

At general meetings the chairperson's powers and duties include:
  • Chairing the meeting
  • Ruling a motion out of order. The chairperson must give reasons for the ruling, although those present at the meeting may pass an ordinary resolution reversing the decision
  • The chairperson may only rule a motion out of order if the motion (if passed) would conflict with the Body Corporate Community Management Act, the regulation module or the bylaws, or would be unlawful or unenforceable for another "reason"
  • Declaring the results of voting on motions, including the votes cast for and against, and the number of abstentions from voting
Committee Elections Duties The chairperson also has an important role in counting the votes in an election ballot for positions on the committee. Secret Ballot If a secret ballot is held for an election, then the chairperson is responsible for -
  • Scrutinising the particulars tab to confirm the person voting has the right to vote
  • Detaching the particulars tab from the ballot paper envelope
  • Placing the ballot paper envelope in a receptacle
  • Randomly mixing the ballot papers, and
  • Taking each ballot paper out of the envelope
Open Ballot In an open ballot election, the chairperson must take the ballot papers out of their envelopes, and scrutinise them to confirm the persons voting have the right to vote. Counting of Vote The chairperson is also responsible for recording the count of votes in the minutes, declaring the result and stating the number of votes cast for each candidate. To assist the chairperson in performing these tasks, the body corporate may appoint a returning officer to decide questions about eligibility to vote and to count votes. Under clause 11(7) of Part 2 of the second schedule of BUGTA, the chairperson has a casting vote if the votes were equal. This power is not available under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act. If the votes on an ordinary resolution are equal, then the motion is lost as there must be more votes counted for the motion than against it.

A Community Manager is a person or corporation who is appointed pursuant to the relevant body corporate Act with the power to perform certain duties and functions of the body corporate and the committee as are delegated to it in an agreement. The primary responsibilities delegated to a Community Manager are the duties of the secretary and treasurer. These include:-
  • Prepare and forward notices as required by the Act
  • Prepare notices of committee and general meetings
  • Attend and prepare minutes for committee and general meetings
  • Attend to matters resulting from general and committee meetings
  • Attend to all correspondence
  • Keep the books, records and roll
  • Levy owners and collect their contributions
  • Prepare statements of account and annual budgets
  • Pay accounts
  • Effect all insurances and submit claims
  • Make applications and submissions to the Adjudicator as "required"
  • Recommend actions for committee and body corporate to ensure compliance with the Act
The body corporate, however has the right to delegate only a proportion of these duties or to extend them - within the confines of requirements of the Act. A community manager may also be delegated the powers of the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer or other members of the committee. This delegation is particularly applicable to small bodies corporate with absentee owners as it enables decisions to be made and action carried out when members of the committee cannot be contacted promptly. Even though a Community Manager has been appointed, this does not preclude the body corporate or its committee from exercising any of the powers which have been delegated to the Community Manager - in fact the powers of the body corporate and the Community Manager run concurrently. A prudent community manager does not usurp or override the decisions of a committee. A Community Manager must be appointed and the delegation made at a general meeting of the body corporate. To ensure that all owners are aware of the terms of the agreement, a copy must be forwarded to all owners with the notice of the general meeting at which the appointment is sought. A Community Manager assists the committee to make the right decisions. A Community Manager must be appointed and the delegation made at a general meeting of the body corporate. To ensure that all owners are aware of the terms of the agreement, a copy must be forwarded to all owners with the notice of the general meeting at which the appointment is sought. A Community Manager assists the committee to make the right decisions.

Introduction

This document is designed in an endeavour to aid our Building Managers to carry out their role under their agreement and as such this information is to be used only as a guide. All Managers should ensure that they are completely familiar with the contents of their agreements with the Body Corporate as these vary from Body Corporate to Body Corporate. After all it is the basis of your role and payment.

Building Manager's Caretaker's Role

Under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (The Act), a Building Manager is classified as a service contractor and is subject to the requirements of The Act for such persons. The Building Manager's role is, in general, to carry out the Body Corporate's duties in connection with the management of the common property as defined in The Act and outlined in Survey Plans. Building Managers are assisting the Body Corporate to fulfill an important requirement in The Act being: a Body Corporate "must maintain common property in good condition". To fulfil this role you should ensure, over and above those duties contained in your contract, that:
  • You are completely familiar with the building utilising as-built plans, any machinery and existing maintenance contracts with other contractors
  • That where appropriate, maintenance contracts are in place for such things as lifts, sump pumps, garage doors, fire systems etc. and that the contracts are being fulfilled
  • Advise the Body Corporate Committee on items requiring attention on common property
  • The duties contained within your contract are carried out

Spending and Accounting Procedures

Invoicing To ensure prompt and accurate payment of invoices the following procedure is recommended: When a tradesperson issues an invoice, please ensure the invoices are in the name of the Body Corporate (not the Building Manager or Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd), addressed care of you and Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Australian Business Number (ABN) requirements are met. When you are satisfied the invoice is acceptable, the amount is correct and the goods and/or services have been provided to your satisfaction, stamp the invoice "Approved for Payment", date and sign. Send all invoices to Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd (Gold Coast), P O Box 10374, Southport Qld 4215. Note: (1) Terms of payment should be at least fourteen (14) days. (2) All tradesmen must have adequate insurance policies in place and be able to quote an Australian Business Number (ABN) prior to being contracted to do work for the Body Corporate.

The Payment Process

Once approved invoices are received by Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd (Gold Coast);
  • A cheque is drawn within seven (7) days and sent to the Chairperson or another Committee delegate for signature
  • The Chairperson, if satisfied, will sign and return the cheque to Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd (Gold Coast)
  • Director of Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd will countersign the cheque and send it to the creditor
  • the above is performed efficiently payments are made within fourteen (14) days or;
  • If electronic funds transfer system has been approved by the Committee prompt payment by EFT will be made to the creditor

Petty Cash Float

Application may be made to the Body Corporate Committee to issue you with a Petty Cash Float. The amount could be outlined in your agreement. When claiming Petty Cash reimbursements forward a claim to Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd (Gold Coast) with all receipts attached to a claim sheet summarising your claim. Note: No claim can be paid without receipts. We suggest you spend three quarters (3/4) of the petty cash float, then seek reimbursement.

Spending Limit

Your spending limit should be contained within your agreement. If not, request the Body Corporate Committee to approve a spending limit. This is usually between $500 and $1,000. Note: The Body Corporate Committee's spending limit is normally $200.00 (Standard and Accommodation Module) per lot per item or the amount determined by the Body Corporate under the relevant regulation module.

The Body Corporate Committee

The Body Corporate Committee has the role of ensuring the Body Corporate operates smoothly on a day to day basis and will make decisions to carry out the necessary work to ensure this.

Committee Meetings

The Body Corporate Committee will regularly meet (usually on a quarterly basis) to address issues that have arisen since their last meeting. The Building Manager will usually be required to attend the Body Corporate Committee Meetings. The Building Manager will usually be required to table a written report. Building Manager's Report to Committee Your report to the Body Corporate Committee should include:
  • A very brief summary of the activities within the scheme since the last Committee Meeting
  • Requests to have any work required within the scheme approved, Quotations must be provided
  • Any relevant future item requiring attention
  • Advice of completion of any works requested of the Building Manager since the last meeting
  • It is best to provide your report well in advance of the meeting, so Committee Members can familiarise themselves with it

Liaising with the Committee

The Body Corporate Committee are usually required under your agreement to appoint a "Nominated Person" to liaise with you. No other member of the Body Corporate is supposed to give you directions other than the "Nominated Person".

Insurance

Each Body Corporate is required to hold a current building policy. You should be familiar with terms and what is covered by this policy.

Body Corporate Insurance Policy

The following is a guide of what is generally covered by a Body Corporate insurance policy. For specific information regarding your Body Corporate, go to Stratamax or contact our Insurance Officer on (07) 3620 0628. 1. Building and Common Area Contents The building and common contents are covered for accidental damage from events or causes including fire, lightning, explosion, storm, rainwater, aircraft, earthquake, riot, civil unrest, malicious damage, impact, bursting – leaking – overflowing water tanks and pipes, burglary, glass breakage, fusion, and any other accidental loss or event not excluded under the policy. Building All building and underground services forming part of the Body Corporate including: Baths, hand basin, shower screens, toilets, sinks, stoves, ducted air conditioners, built-in cupboards as well as doors, windows and fixed tiling. Paintwork, wallpaper, light fitting and fencing within common areas are also part of the building. Common Area Contents Includes carpets in hallways and lobbies, pot plants, mirrors and other decorations in common areas. Body Corporate owned washing machines and dryers for use of all owners and kept in a common laundry facility. Other common property assets such as barbecue and gardening equipment, outdoor and patio style furniture is also included. Personal Insurance on the following items within the lot is the responsibility of the Contents lot/unit owner: Carpets, light fittings, curtains, blinds, all personal equipment and valuables, furniture and household items as well as public liability inside the lot. 2. Legal (Public) Liability This policy covers the Body Corporate as owners of their building and common area contents for amounts they become legally liable to pay in respect to personal injury or property damage arising out of an accident happening anywhere in Australia. 3. Office Bearers Office Bearers of the Body Corporate are indemnified if they become legally liable to pay compensation for a wrongful act. 4. Building Catastrophe Covers the escalation of costs (due to a shortage of materials and labour) of reinstatement or replacement of the building caused by a catastrophic event. 5. Other There are other policies available to a Body Corporate including: Machinery breakdown (machinery over 4kwatt), Fidelity Guarantee (fraudulent misappropriation of Body Corporate funds) and Voluntary Workers (compensation for injury while voluntarily working on behalf of the Body Corporate).

Processing Claims

The Building Manager is responsible for lodging all claims on behalf of the Body Corporate and accordingly should always hold claim forms on file. Once an incident has occurred you need to decide whether it needs to be repaired immediately (security concern, danger to others or other property) or whether it can wait to be processed in the normal manner.

Urgent Incident

  • Have the problem/damage rectified and ensure that all damaged parts are kept for viewing by the assessor if over $1,000.00 in damage and take photos for evidence
  • Complete a claim form answering all relevant questions and attach invoice, and
  • Forward to Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd for lodgement

Normal Claims

  • Obtain 2 quotations for repair
  • Complete claim form answering all relevant questions and attach quotations
  • Forward to Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd for lodgement and wait for approval by the insurers
  • Repair as instructed by insurers, and
  • Forward final invoices to Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd
Any incident that will cost over $1,000.00 to repair should be reported to the insurer via Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd before proceeding as an Assessor may need to be appointed. Failure to do this may result in the claim being denied or short paid. If an incident affects only one Lot, the owner of that Lot will be responsible for paying the excess on the claim. Remember if you are unsure ask Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd for claims recommendations to avoid claims being denied.

By-Law Enforcement

Most Building Manager Agreements give the Building Manager the duty of policing the By-Laws. You should familiarise yourself with the By-Laws. The enforcement of By-Laws should be as follows:
  • The Building Manager advises the owner/occupier of the breach and requests they remedy the breach. Diarise your approach.
  • Should the owner/occupier continue to breach the By-Laws a written request should be made to them to rectify the breach and a copy sent to the Secretary.
  • Should the breach continue the matter should be brought to the Body Corporate Committees attention via the Body Corporate Manager, for enforcement.
Alternatively, if you can utilise the Residential Tenancy Act to deal with one of your tenants, then you are able to do so. Records (1) Diary You should keep a diary of discussions held, maintenance schedules, incidents that could be of concern to the Body Corporate i.e. injuries, By-Law breaches, plant failure etc. (2) Registers Contractors: A register/log should be kept of when contractors i.e., lifts, fire system, sump pumps etc, carry out routine maintenance and when their contracts are due for renewal. Body Corporate Assets: A register of all Body Corporate assets should be kept detailing their state of repair, date of purchase etc. Keys: Holders of keys should be known and recorded in a key register.

Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd

Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd, as Body Corporate Manager, is delegated the role of Secretary and Treasurer of the Body Corporate. This role includes amongst other duties: Treasurer:
  • Issuing Levies
  • Paying Invoices
  • Preparing Financial Statements
  • Preparing Draft Budgets
Secretary
  • Preparing Agendas of Meetings
  • Distributing Agendas of Meetings
  • Taking Minutes of Meetings
  • Distributing Minutes of Meetings
  • Keeping the Body Corporate Roll
  • Receive and acknowledge correspondence to the Body Corporate
  • Draft and send Body Corporate correspondence as directed by the Body Corporate
Insurance:
  • Obtain quotations for insurance renewal
  • Place insurance
  • Lodge and follow up on claims
  • Provide Certificates of Currency
Ernst Body Corporate Management Pty Ltd which was born from Ernst and Young, has been operating for over twenty (20) years as a Body Corporate Manager and its staff are always happy to make recommendations on issues that may arise from time to time. Should you need recommendations on Body Corporate matters your first point of contact should be the Body Corporate Manager for your Scheme.

The following is a guide of what is generally covered by a Body Corporate insurance policy. For specific information regarding your Body Corporate, go to StrataMax or contact our Insurance Manager on (07) 3620 0628.

1. Building and Common Area Contents

The building and common contents are covered for accidental damage from events or causes including fire, lightning, explosion, storm, rainwater, aircraft, earthquake, riot, civil unrest, malicious damage, impact, bursting - leaking - overflowing water tanks and pipes, burglary, glass breakage, fusion, and any other accidental loss or event not excluded under the policy.

Building

All building and underground services forming part of the Body Corporate including: Baths, hand basin, shower screens, toilets, sinks, stoves, ducted air conditioners, built-in cupboards as well as doors, windows and fixed tiling. Paintwork, wallpaper, light fitting and fencing within common areas are also part of the building.

Common Area Contents

Includes carpets in hallways and lobbies, pot plants, mirrors and other decorations in common areas. Body Corporate owned washing machines and dryers for use of all owners and kept in a common laundry facility. Other common property assets such as barbecue and gardening equipment, outdoor and patio style furniture is also included.

Personal Contents

Insurance on the following items within the lot is the responsibility of the lot/unit owner: Carpets, light fittings, curtains, blinds, all personal equipment and valuables, furniture, white goods, split system air conditioners and household items as well as public liability inside the lot. Policies should meet specific circumstances of the building.

2. Legal (Public) Liability

This policy covers the Body Corporate as owners of their building and common area contents for amounts they become legally liable to pay in respect to personal injury or property damage arising out of an accident happening anywhere in Australia.

3. Office Bearers

Office Bearers of the Body Corporate are indemnified if they become legally liable to pay compensation for a wrongful act.

4. Building Catastrophe

Covers the escalation of costs (due to a shortage of materials and labour) of reinstatement or replacement of the building caused by a catastrophic event.

5. Other

There are other policies available to a Body Corporate including: Machinery breakdown (machinery over 4kwatt), Fidelity Guarantee (fraudulent misappropriation of Body Corporate funds) and Voluntary Workers (compensation for injury while voluntarily working on behalf of the Body Corporate).

In the event of an incident (which is claimable under your body corporate insurance policy), you should contact your building manager or caretaker to obtain approval to initiate an insurance claim. All claim forms, which are available from the above mentioned entities, must be completed thoroughly including all relevant information, signed and returned to the insurance manager or body corporate manager for processing, along with the originals of associated quotations or invoices. It is at the discretion of the Insurance Company, if the claim will be successful or not. Excess: Should an excess apply to a particular policy and subsequent claim, then the owner of the unit where the incident occurred may have to pay that excess depending upon the surrounding circumstances.

Levies are raised to meet the financial obligations of the body corporate for today and in the future.

Levy rates vary from one body corporate to another. This is due to the different size, location, amenities etc of the Scheme.

There are two types of levies: -

Administrative Fund Levy: Funds normal day-to-day operational expenses such as:

Audit fees, bank charges, caretaking or management fees, community power, taxation, body corporate insurance, administration costs for the body corporate, lifts and other equipment servicing, pools and common area maintenance / materials, and the like. Usually, these expenses occur once or frequently every year.

Sinking Fund Levy: Funds large common property maintenance, repairs, improvements as well as purchase of new assets.

Large items are listed below: -

Repainting common property, repairs to roof and guttering, refurbishing pool and gardens, purchase of additional or replacement pool furniture etc. In other words, these expenses are large irregular costs.

A levy is paid by all lot owners according to their individual lot entitlements. These lot entitlements (particularly the contribution schedule lot entitlements) are listed in your body corporates community management statement.

By way of an example: -

Whereas:

Administrative Fund Budget totals $100,000.00 for the ensuing financial year. The total Contribution Schedule Lot Entitlements for Example Body Corporate is 500. Lot 6 has 12 Contribution Schedule Lot Entitlements according to the community management statement.

Calculation:

  • $100,000/500 = $200.00 per Contribution Schedule Lot Entitlement
  • To calculate Lot 6's levy amount for the year: $200.00 x 12 = $2,400.00
  • This is then adjusted to take into account any provision for discount and GST payable
  • This levy might be further broken into smaller periods to reduce burden of lot owners making one lump sum levy payment

As you can appreciate, if the body corporate does not receive levy monies, it cannot meet its obligations. In extreme cases, this can mean no lights in the common areas or insurance protection and a number of Writs served by creditor upon the body corporate.

Consequently, under the prevailing body corporate legislation, a body corporate can take legal action against any lot owner who does not pay their levies.

Should anyone experience difficulty in fulfilling their financial obligations to the body corporate, they will need to contact their financial institution to make appropriate arrangements.

Like other operating corporate entities, at the end of the financial year, the actual expenses are compared to the budget. Any surplus or deficit may be taken into account for the calculation of next years levies.

At Ernst Body Corporate Management, we have available for your body corporate the following methods of levy payments: -

By Phone / Internet via the BPay System:

Contact your financial institution to make this payment.

By Cash or Cheque in person:

If your Body Corporate banks with the Macquarie Bank, attend any Australia Post Office to make the payment.

By Mail with Cheque:

  • Detach deposit slip from your levy notice and mail with
  • cheque to the:
  • Macquarie Bank
  • DEFT PAYMENT SYSTEM
  • GPO BOX 141
  • BRISBANE QLD 4217.

By Credit Card or Direct Debit:

If your Body Corporate has arranged this option for its lot owners (refer to levy notice for confirmation), contact your financial institution and make the necessary arrangements.

Please note all payments must be made payable to your Body Corporate.

As you can appreciate, it is important that the body corporate holds up-to-date information about your ownership.

The prevailing body corporate legislation stipulates that it is the owner's responsibility to notify the body corporate of any changes.

You may check your name and address details as follows: -

Stratamax Users:

Logon and use the prompts provided and remember to have handy your user name and password.

Other users:

Telephone, fax, or write to Ernst Body Corporate Management to check or change your details.

A form is provided below to allow you to correctly notify the body corporate of your ownership or address change.

Simply print, complete and send this form to Ernst.

(a) Certificate of Currency (Insurance)

(b) Section 205, Information Certificate (assists settlement figures for lots)

(c) Disclosure Statement ( to be checked by lot owner, signed and then if appropriate, attached to a contract of sale for an existing lot.)

What effective procedures and/or policies should a body corporate employ?

Please read this document for more information.

Please read this document for more information.

Please read this document for more information.

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