Frequently Asked Questions

A quick easy-reference guide to our most frequently asked questions

Roles within a Body Corporate Committee

What is the role of a Committee Chairperson?

The Chairperson's role is not particularly outlined in the legislation, however there are responsibilities that are evident the Chairperson is required to do on behalf of the Committee.

The Chairperson has no executive authority to act on behalf of the Committee, however is normally appointed the liaison person between the Committee and/or the BCM and RUM

The Chairperson's main responsibility is to chair and conduct meetings.

As part of the meeting's procedure the Chairperson is responsible for the following:

- Calling a meeting in the absence of the Secretary
- Opening the meeting
- Declaring whether or not a quorum is present
- Ensuring the agenda is followed and order is kept at all times
- Inviting discussion for and against each item of business
- Dealing and identifying any conflicts of interest between parties present on matters requiring discussion or voting.
- Ensuring that restricted matters are not decided by the Committee and that expenditure limits are not exceeded
- Closing the meeting
- At a General Meeting the Chairperson is also required to:
- Know who is eligible to vote
- Rule a motion out of order if required and giving reasons as to why
- Accepts written voting papers at the meeting
- Conducts ballots if required
- Declare the results of voting

The Chairperson does not have a casting vote.

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What is the role of a Committee Secretary?

In most cases the Body Corporate will have a Body Corporate Manager who is authorised to carry out some of the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary, in accordance with their Agreement.

Some of the Secretary's duties are:

- Keeping the roll of the Body Corporate and other statutory records
- Accepting notices on behalf of the Body Corporate
- Making arrangements for inspections of the Body Corporate records
- Issuing certificates on behalf of the Body Corporate
- Calling all General and Committee Meetings
- Preparing agendas and paperwork for each meeting
- Preparing minutes and circulating to all lot owners
- Attending to incoming and outgoing correspondence on behalf of the Body Corporate
- Attending to the renewal of insurance policies

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What is the role of a Committee's Treasurer?

Like the role of the Secretary the Body Corporate will normally have a Body Corporate Manager who is authorised to carry out some of the duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer.

The Treasurer is generally responsible for all the financial matters of the Body Corporate such as:

- Preparing budgets
- Preparing financial statements
- Authorising invoices for payment
- Maintaining the Body Corporate bank account
- Calculating and collecting levies on behalf of lot owners
- Recovering unpaid levies
- Banking
- Keeping all accounting records

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What is the role of an Ordinary Committee Member?


Ordinary Committee Members are appointed by lot owners to assist
the Executive Committee and to make and implement decisions of the
Body Corporate. Required to attend Committee Meetings. An
Ordinary Committee Member may become ineligible to hold their
position under the following scenarios: - Death  -
Conviction of an indictable offence - Non attendance in person
or by proxy at two (2) consecutive committee meetings without
the approval of the committee - Resignation via written notice
to Chairperson or Secretary - Removal from office by ordinary
resolution of the Body Corporate


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What is the role of a Non-Voting Committee Member?

Non-Voting Members were introduced into the BCCM Act in the amendments in December 2003.

Non-Voting Members are automatically elected to the Committee and are defined in the BCCM Act as follows:
- The Body Corporate Manager for the scheme
- The caretaking / service contractor for the scheme
- Non-Voting Members means exactly that, they cannot vote at Committee Meetings however have the right to attend the meetings.

The Committee can decide that a Non-Voting Member must not be present at a meeting when the following subjects are being discussed:

- Any disputes between the Body Corporate, any lot owner or occupier and the service contractor/BCM
- The engagement of a service contractor/BCM
- Any other items the Committee consider necessary for the BCM/service contractor not to be in attendance for.
- Non-Voting Members are not included when a quorum is being counted.

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Fire Safety

What are the three main pieces of legislation that cover Fire Safety legislation in Queensland?


- Building Fire Safety Regulations 2008 - Building Code of
Australia - Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990


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What classes of buildings are affected by the legislation?


All Class 2 to Class 9 Buildings



 


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What is the difference between Low Occupancy and High Occupancy Buildings.


A High Occupancy Building is defined by the Queensland Building
Fire Safety Regulations 2008 as one of the following: - a class two
or 3 building more than 25m high; - a class 2, 5, 6, 7b, 8, 9a, or
9b building that is a workplace - (i) prescribed under the
Workplace Health & Safety Regulations 2008 , section 56; and
(ii) where 30 or more workers are normally employed within the
meaning of the Workplace Health & Safety Act 1995, section
93(5); or - 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. A Low Occupancy Building is one which is less
than 25 meters in height.


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What is a Certificate of Classification and how may it be obtained?


A Certificate of Classification is a document that specifies a
building's classification and describes the way in which it can be
used. An example of use is Residential, Commercial or even Holiday
Accomodation. To obtain a certificate of Classification, the
building must be complete, inclusive of all electrical, mechanical
and hydraulic services which must be installed and operational. A
certificate of classification can be obtained from the building
certifier who approves and inspects the building work or from your
local government.


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General

What is a Community Titles Scheme (otherwise known as a CTS)?


A community titles scheme may consist of duplexes, residential
unit blocks, high rise accommodation, shopping centres, business
parks or similar. These schemes are made up of individually owned
lots or units as well as common property. Community titles schemes
make it possible for individual owners of parts of a building to
share common areas with other owners.


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What is a body corporate?

A body corporate is made up of all of the owners in the same community titles scheme. Each new owner automatically becomes a member.

The body corporate must act in compliance with the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act) and regulations.

Decisions relating to:
- common property maintenance and management issues, including equipment and services
- determining levies (financial contributions) which must be paid to cover operation expenses of the body corporate
- public risk insurance
- compulsory building insurance (if applicable)
- the establishment and enforcement of by-laws relating to the management of lots and common property

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What is a committee?

The body corporate must elect a committee at each annual general meeting. The committee consists of executive members (a chairperson, secretary and treasurer) and any ordinary members.

Depending on the size of the scheme, committees vary in size from at least three to no more than seven people. If not enough body corporate members are interested in forming a committee or at least one of the executive positions is not filled, regulations allow a body corporate to employ a body corporate manager to carry out the functions of a committee.

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What is common property?


It is the responsibility of the body corporate to maintain
common property. Common property may include lawns, access
roadways, swimming pools, common doors and windows. It is very
important for the body corporate to know what type of plan the
scheme is recorded as. A scheme recorded as a 'building format
plan' will have a slightly different area of responsibility than
one recorded as a 'standard format plan'. Copies of plans may be
obtained from the Land Title Registry of the Department of
Environment and Resource Management. The Titles Registration
Service Centre can be contacted on +61 7 3227 6626. The body
corporate can engage the services of professionals such as
gardeners and pool cleaners to carry out maintenance. In some
smaller schemes, body corporate members volunteer their own
services. Naturally, professional services will involve some costs,
and these and other financial matters must be considered by the
body corporate at the Annual General Meeting.


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How do we nominate for Committee Positions?


Nominations are called for each position between 3 - 6 weeks
prior to the financial year end of the Body Corporate scheme. If
nominations are received after the financial year end of the
scheme, they are invalid. However if a vacancy exists at the Annual
General Meeting nominations will be called for from the floor of
the meeting. Each Committee position must be called for and lot
owners may choose to nominate 1 person either themselves, another
lot owner (with that owner accepting the nomination), or a family
member as defined in the Act. The regulation modules stipulate that
the person making a nomination must be financial or must not owe
the body corporate a debt at the time of the nomination or it
becomes invalid. The new regulations which came into effect on the
1st September 2008 now state the person and the nominated person
must both be financial at the time of nomination and also at the
time of the election. The new regulation modules also state that if
an owner owns more than two lots in the same name, they may only
nominate a maximum of 3 people to the committee if there are more
than 7 lots in a scheme. If there are less than 6 lots in a scheme,
regardless of the number of lots they own, they may only nominate 2
people to the committee. If there is only 1 nomination received for
the positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, the nominee
will be automatically elected at the Annual General Meeting. If
more than 1 nomination is received, the Body Corporate is required
to conduct either an Open or Secret Ballot depending on the Module
and what motions if any have previously been resolved by the Body
Corporate. If nominations are not received for positions,
nominations will be called from the floor of the Annual General
Meeting.


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Am I as a Lot Owner entitled to attend Committee Meetings?


Yes, any Lot Owner who is not a member of the committee may
attend a meeting of the committee. Unless the owner is a Committee
Member they are not permitted to cast a vote at the meeting and
there are some rules which the committee and Lot Owner
must follow. 



1. The owner must give a minimum of 24 hours notice in
writing to the body corporate Secretary that they want to
attend (this can be given to the Body Corporate Manager) 



2. The owner can only speak if invited to speak by the
committee. An invitation to speak can be revoked at any time by the
committee and the committee cany direct the person to leave if they
speak without an invitation. 



3. The owner must not be present if the committee discusses any
of the following matters:



(a) a breach of the by-laws for the community titles scheme;



(b) starting a proceeding, if the decision to start the
proceeding is not a decision on a restricted issue for the
committee;



(c) a proceeding against the body corporate;



(d) a dispute between the body corporate and - (i) the owner or
occupier of a lot included in the scheme; or (ii) a body corporate
manager; or (iii) a caretaking service contractor.



(e) a vote taken by the committee on the item of business the
person may be subject to



 



 


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What is a General Meeting?

All meetings of the Body Corporate are General Meetings (this does not include Committee Meetings).

A General Meeting is either an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

An AGM must be called and held within 3 months after the end of each of the scheme's financial year, the exception is the first AGM.

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How is an AGM called?


A General Meeting may be called by either of the following
persons authorized by the Committee to call the meeting; -
Secretary - Another member of the Committee - A person authorized
or required to call a General Meeting by an order of an adjudicator
acting under the dispute resolution provisions. The new regulations
which came into effect on the 1st September 2008 now provide that
the secretary or other member of the committee (including a
non-voting member) may call a general meeting upon the committee
passing a resolution directing the member to call the meeting.


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How do I submit an Agenda Item?

A motion for consideration at a General Meeting may be submitted at any time by;
- a member of the Body Corporate
- the Committee

A motion submitted by a member of the Body Corporate may be included on the agenda for an AGM only if the Secretary receives the motion before the end of the Body Corporate's financial year immediately preceding the meeting.

When the notice for the AGM is forwarded to the Body Corporate calling for nominations for the Committee positions, it must also include an opportunity to submit motions for inclusion on the agenda for the meeting.

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What is the role of a Building Manager?


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 fulfill this role you should ensure, over and above those duties contained in your contract, that:

1. You are completely familiar with the building utilising as-built plans, any machinery and existing maintenance contracts with other contractors.

2. 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.

3. Advise the Body Corporate Committee on items requiring attention on common property.

4. The duties contained within your contract are carried out.

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