What details does a Community Management Statement include?
- How the land and boundary lines are structured
This information will be especially important when it comes to boundary walls or the like by determining who is responsible when it comes to matters such as maintenance or repair disputes.
A Community Management Statement outlines the following:
– The land and its lots that comprise the body corporate
– How the property is structured, the features and characteristics of the lot
– The purposes for which the lots are used i.e. common property or private use
– If the land will be further developed and the management structure.
- The legislation that is relevant for your property type
Most bodies corporate is categorised as a community titles scheme registered under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997. As well as the Act, there are regulation modules which set out more detailed laws that a body corporate must follow.
Only one regulation module applies to a body corporate at any time. A change can be made if the body corporate believes another regulation module is more suited to the property.
Five types of regulation modules for bodies corporate in Queensland:
- Standard Module, most owners live in their own apartment or lot
- Accommodation Module, most owners rent out their unit or apartment
- Commercial Module, the property is used for commercial purposes
- Small Schemes Module, for a property with six lots or less
- Specified Two-lot Schemes Module, a property with two residential lots
- How levy fees are calculated
Levies are determined by lot entitlements using a contribution and/or interest schedule. These are initially set up by a surveyor completing the plan of subdivision and is usually based on the value of an apartment or lot comparative to the value of others.
A lot entitlement refers to a share of ownership of the common property which determines an owner’s voting rights and for calculating the allocated government rates and other charges.
The contribution schedule is used to calculate each owner’s share of body corporate costs.
And, the interest schedule is used to calculate each owner’s share of the common property and body corporate assets if the property is redeveloped. It’s also used to determine the value for calculating local government rates and charges, and other costs.
Note: costs for services supplied to a unit or apartment (e.g. water and electricity) is separately charged and billed by the service provider.
- What by-laws or rules to follow?
By-laws define the rules for harmonious living and assist with the smooth running of the property. They generally cover topics such as noise, behaviour of invitees, voting, exclusive-use areas, the appearance of a lot, keeping of pets, and parking.
Can by-laws be amended?
Yes, a body corporate may resolve to add to these by-laws or modify them to suit the property. However, the by-laws cannot be inconsistent with the BCCM Act or other legislation, discriminate against the types of occupiers, or prevent a sale or transfer of a lot. For example, a by-law cannot determine the type of people who can buy into the property.
How are by-laws enforced?
The body corporate is responsible for enforcing its by-laws. This is generally managed by the committee, although at times lot owners and occupiers may commence their own enforcement actions. Contravention notices must be issued before any enforcement action is taken.
- Exclusive use areas and associated plans
An exclusive use area is a part of the common property which has been designated for the exclusive use of an owner.
The by-laws will specify for what purpose and any conditions or other requirements which apply to the use. Examples of areas which are often the subject of exclusive use by-laws are car parks, courtyards, gardens, balconies or patios, and roof top areas.
Who can get exclusive use of common property?
An exclusive use by-law requires prior agreement in writing from an owner and a resolution consenting to the recording of a new Community Management Statement. This can come with conditions such as maintenance and repair requirements.
Unless the by-law specifically states otherwise, the owner who has the exclusive use area, is responsible for the maintenance and operating costs for that part of the common property.