What is a Community Management Statement?

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What is a Community Management Statement?

A Community Management Statement (CMS) is a valuable reference for living in a body corporate property as it specifies the by-laws relating to the property, the regulation modules that apply, and outlines exclusive use areas of common property, and who pays for what.

All bodies corporate property in Queensland that are regulated by the BCCM Act must have a Community Management Statement which takes effect once it is recorded by the Register of Titles. Upon registration, a body corporate is created.

 

Do Community Management Statements change?

Yes, a Community Management Statement may be changed for different reasons. The most common reason is a change to the by-laws. Other reasons include if new apartments or lots are added to the body corporate property, or if the body corporate requests that a different type of regulation module should apply to the property.

Changes can be made to the Community Management Statement by resolution at a general meeting. The type of resolution required depends on the regulation module for the property and the by-law itself. At times, exceptions will need to be applied. Plans registered prior to 1997 may not have a Community Management Statement in place. Owners would be required to refer to the registered plan, whether it is a Building Unit Plan (BUP) or Group Title Plan (GTP), plus any individual by-laws registered prior to July 1997.

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If you can’t find the Community Management Statement for your property, refer to your property’s Certificate of Title for the unique identifying number of your Community Management Statement, and obtain a copy by undertaking a Titles Office search.

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What details does a Community Management Statement include?

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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:

  1. Standard Module, most owners live in their own apartment or lot
  2. Accommodation Module, most owners rent out their unit or apartment
  3. Commercial Module, the property is used for commercial purposes
  4. Small Schemes Module, for a property with six lots or less
  5. Specified Two-lot Schemes Module, a property with two residential lots

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

Did you know

What should the building or property name reference?

The name of the property is proposed by the original owner (developer) and must be deemed acceptable to the Registrar of Titles. Names can be similar but not identical to other plans previously registered.

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