Legal

Legal articles relating to legislation, disputes and civil suits

Contributed By: Hynes Legal on

Have you ever wondered what happens when a lot owner starts short term letting and it affects the ability of the body corporate to get the required statutory insurance? If so, you might want to read this the story about a dispute between owners of a two-lot scheme in North Queensland and what an adjudicator decided about those particular circumstances. We have previously written about the statutory insurance requirements for bodies corporate. The facts of this insurance dispute were relatively simple. Beach Meet is a two lot scheme regulated by the Small Schemes Module One owner started short term letting via Air BnB The body corporate insuranceRead More →

Contributed By: Short Punch & Greatorix on

A Townsville Management Rights operator has lost their management rights because of failure to comply with the BCCM Act.  On 10 July 2019 Adjudicator Barry declared that body corporate committee resolutions from 2015 consenting to the transfer of management rights were void… Accordingly, the current management rights operator did not own the management rights, despite having performed the caretaking duties, and having been paid for doing so, for almost 4 years. The Adjudicator’s decision was the latest in a line of decisions dealing with the management rights for Allure Apartments CTS 46322 in Townsville.  On 26 September 2018 another Adjudicator had declared the letting agreementRead More →

Contributed By: John Punch of Short Punch & Greatorix Lawyers on

Lawyers acting for buyers of Management Rights are often faced with the task of trying to explain to their clients problems which they may face as a result of badly worded Caretaking and Letting Agreements.  Much of this could be avoided if developers and their advisers took more care in preparing these agreements. Developers have a golden opportunity to set up Management Rights in a way that will not create difficulties for building managers. The developer is in complete control of the Body Corporate at the time the original Caretaking and Letting Agreements are put in place.  Unfortunately where the developer’s lawyers are not managementRead More →

Back when real estate wasn’t as expensive, multipliers weren’t as high and banks didn’t care as much about serviceability as they did security, buying a lot with a business all worked without much of an issue. That has changed (noticeably for high value real estate with shorter term management rights agreements), which has led to us receiving lots of requests from clients about separating their lot from their management rights business.  Every management rights business is different. There are no hard and fast rules, but in general terms, these are the issues that come if you want to consider doing breaking that link. Let’s startRead More →

Contributed By: Short Punch & Greatorix on

Even a casual observer of the Industrial Law landscape in the post-Work Choices era, will recognise the diversity of employment options that now prevail in modern workplaces. Part of this has been a consequence of the increasing casualisation of the Australian workforce.  This was seen by the Fair Work Commission as a necessary counter-balance to the rights of workers that were gradually being eroded through the trend of casualisation. However, the modern Industrial Law landscape has nevertheless provided certain benefits for employees, through the Modern Award system, and through the evolution of the National Employment Standards (NES). Modern Awards contain a generic or template AwardRead More →

Contributed By: Hynes Legal on

The question about how to adjust contribution schedule lot entitlements (‘the CSLE’) that has been kicking around strataland since September 2012 has finally been put to rest. The complete article we wrote on the issue at the time is here. In practical terms, no one will be able to adjust the CSLE unless there is a resolution without dissent at a general meeting. This is a resolution which no one votes against (as opposed to one which everyone votes for). Any CLSE adjustment means that some levies will go up and others will go down because the body corporate budget never changes. What adjusting lot entitlementsRead More →

Contributed By: Short Punch & Greatorix on

The job of an on-site manager can be a difficult one.  It necessitates a delicate balance between maintaining a good relationship with lot owners and occupants on the one hand, and ensuring adherence to the Body Corporate scheme by-laws on the other. This was illustrated in a recent case in the Southport Magistrates Court, in which Short Punch & Greatorix successfully acted for a manager. In this instance, the manager had been concerned with ensuring that the pool and spa area of his building were operated in a manner that was compliant with the scheme by-laws. The building had, amongst its occupiers, a number ofRead More →

Contributed By: Michael Kleinschmidt of Stratum Legal on

The recent decision in Application by Ms A [2018] FWC 4147 by the Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission establishes that even a contracted caretaker is protected from bullying in the workplace. Particularly, the Deputy President found the chairperson bullied the caretaker, within a Queensland Community Title Scheme, by: sending emails to Mrs A about matters which were not urgent at times that were not reasonable. The emails used sarcastic and derogatory language in relation to Ms A which was exacerbated by the fact that the emails were sent to other members of the committee; by sending emails with an unreasonable (very high) frequency;Read More →

Contributed By: Hynes Legal on

Governments create laws.  Courts and tribunals interpret those laws when they make decisions on disputes.  We all then rely on those interpretations as gospel in terms of what the legislation actually means. Industry always holds its breath when what has been a long-standing practice or assumption is appealed. Higher authorities can overturn the decisions of lower ones. Take the deck dispute that went all the way to the High Court, with opposing decisions along the way. The other recent example was the decision on the timing for commencement of proceedings for recovery of body corporate debts.  A lower court interpreted a time frame that no one had operatedRead More →

Contributed By: Michael Kleinschmidt of Stratum Legal on

In the Norwinn Commercial CTS 38094 the developer had been paying all the costs of maintaining an elevator located on common property. The elevator serviced foyers on only two levels of one building in the Scheme. Each foyer led to common property and Lot 8. None of Lots 1 – 7 could access their upper-level using the elevator, however all Lots had internal stairs. The developer went into receivership and all lots were sold. The new owner of Lot 8 determined, correctly, that the elevator should be maintained by the Body Corporate as utility infrastructure. The reason being that it supplied utility services not onlyRead More →