Legal Articles
Apartment Building

In recent years, many buildings around the world have suffered damage because of fires relating to their combustible cladding, such as the Water Club USA in 2007, the Roubaix Residential Tower France in 2012; the Torch Tower Dubai in 2015; and (most notably) the Grenfell Tower London in 2017. As a result, regulators have been increasingly concerned about cladding and the effect it might have on fire safety within buildings. Queensland Building Regulation took effect on 1 October 2018 The Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (the “Regulation”) came into effect on 1 October 2018. The Regulation introduces… Continue Reading

Visitor Parking

I am frequently asked to provide simple guidelines for a body corporate to safely tow a vehicle from common property. Unfortunately, from the body corporate’s perspective, no such guidelines exist. In essence, each situation needs to be assessed on its own unique merits. The relevant considerations will depend upon who is operating the vehicle and the circumstances in which it is parked. A vehicle owned by someone unrelated to the scheme parked on a common property A body corporate will usually have a right to tow such a vehicle. It is a right arising from the common law (i.e. not… Continue Reading

Viridian High Court Decision

On 12 October 2016, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in the matter of the decision of Ainsworth & Ors v Albrecht & Ors (also known as the Viridian case). This is a case with very significant implications in relation to how bodies corporate make decisions. We have previously published articles on the lower court decisions of this case. The case concerns the body corporate’s decision to reject a proposal by the lot owner to expand an elevated deck area, and receive an exclusive use right to the corresponding ground area under the deck expansion. The case… Continue Reading

Footsteps from above

The issue of footsteps on the ceiling (and noise generally) in strata titled buildings is a vexing issue for many committees and owners.  Given the increased propensity towards high density living in our cities, this is an issue that isn’t going away. Even the sturdiest and newest buildings will probably permit some sound transference between lots in certain circumstances; that is a feature of strata living that prospective residents ignore at their peril. However, the issue can generally be managed through the use of appropriate materials and construction techniques. Hard floors are “in” at the moment, with many owners looking… Continue Reading

Gold Coast Canal at Budds Beach

With over 400 kilometres of constructed canal frontage on the Gold Coast and an ever increasing number of recreational water users, the potential exists for conflict between waterfront property owners and people using the adjacent waterways. Any waterfront property owners or regular water users reading this could probably relate a relevant story. The writer has personally observed an upset waterfront property owner throwing rocks at a kayak fisherman, fishing in the adjacent canal, encouraging him in an enthusiastic fashion to “get off his water”. So who owns the water? Like most things, this is a subjective question. However, the starting… Continue Reading

Challenging Body Corporate Decisions

Last year, we published an article about tips for making reasonable Body Corporate decisions. The leading case in the area was the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision of Re Body Corporate for Viridian; Kjerulf Ainsworth & Ors v Martin Albrecht & Anor [2014] QCATA 294. However, the lot owner in that matter appealed the QCAT decision to the Supreme Court (Albrecht v Ainsworth & Ors [2015] QCA 220 (Viridian)) and the Supreme Court recently handed down its appeal decision. The appeal reversed the earlier QCAT decision and clarified the law in this area. Bodies Corporate and Committees make… Continue Reading

Challenging Body Corporate Decisions

Bodies Corporate and Committees make decision on countless different matters relating to the administration of their scheme, including: Providing or denying consents or approvals for matters prescribed in the by-laws, such as pet applications or renovation requests; Considering payment plans or requests for discounts or the waiver of penalties from lot owners in respect of body corporate levies; Enforcing breaches of by-laws; and Considering proposals contemplated by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld) (BCCMA), such as a request by a lot owner that the Body Corporate grant that owner a right to exclusively use a particular area… Continue Reading

A Body Corporate Focus

OVERVIEW OF WORKCOVER SCHEME The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) (“Workcover Act”) establishes a workers’ compensation scheme for Queensland, the purpose of which is to provide benefits to workers in respect of workplace injuries or fatalities and to encourage improved health and safety performance by employers. The main provisions of the scheme provide the following for injuries sustained by workers in their employment: (a) compensation; (b) regulation of access to damages; (c) employers’ liability for compensation; (d) employers’ obligation to be covered against liability for compensation and damages either under a WorkCover insurance policy or under a licence… Continue Reading

Power of Attorney

The recovery of unpaid body corporate levies is an issue close to the heart of most body corporate committees and managers. Experienced delinquent owners can in some cases drag out the process for many years and even avoid payment entirely. This article (the third in a series of three on this topic) will focus on the practical steps a body corporate needs to take when contemplating and enforcing legal proceedings against delinquent owners. This article is not intended to be a substitute for proper legal advice and, if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us to discuss… Continue Reading

commercial lease

TIP 5. Know the penalties you’re entitled to charge and make sure they are properly authorised The late payment of levies by delinquent owners is a disruption to the smooth operation of a community titles scheme because it causes the body corporate not to have its budgeted cash flow, which if not properly managed could disrupt the supply of services by the body corporate. In addition, the body corporate committee has to spend time and effort in pursuing the unpaid levies and managing the consequences arising from the unpaid levies. To encourage lot owners to pay their levies on time,… Continue Reading

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