Legal

Legal articles relating to legislation, disputes and civil suits

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 →

Contributed By: Michael Kleinschmidt Stratum Legal on

On 26 September 2018 Adjudicator Roseman declared the letting authorisation for Allure Apartments in Townsville void.  The management rights operator, Allure Townsville Accommodation Pty Ltd (ATA), had taken a transfer of the letting authorisation in June of 2015.  The management rights were transferred from Allure Hotel and Apartments Pty Ltd (AHA) who had acquired them from the developer, South Townsville Developments Pty Ltd, on 3 September 2014. From the beginning, the management rights business had been operated from a manager’s unit (lot 201) and a reception area, initially located on the common property. While AHA was the operator, that area of common property was convertedRead More →

Contributed By: Short Punch & Greatorix on

Some time ago I published an article on what I thought was reasonable for a Body Corporate to request from a buyer of management rights, in considering whether or not a Body Corporate committee should consent to the transfer of management rights agreements to the buyer. This is an important issue, because under the Body Corporate and Community Management legislation, a Body Corporate committee must not unreasonably withhold approval to a transfer. Under the legislation, one of the matters which a Body Corporate committee may have regard to is the financial standing of the proposed transferee.  My opinion as expressed in my previous article wasRead More →

Airbnb is never far from the headlines, and many industry segments are clamouring for regulation. In June 2018 the NSW government announced severe restrictions on short stay accommodation. It remains to be seen how that will work in practice, and how Queensland will implement our own version. Hopefully the legislative response will be informed by the lessons learned from the regulation of ride sharing services such as Uber. Industry Concerns Body Corporates, owners, and on-site managers are justifiably concerned about the rising popularity of home sharing services, and other online accommodation booking platforms, for properties within Community Title Schemes. Naturally, I can’t condone “self-help” remediesRead More →

Contributed By: Hynes Legal on

If you don’t know whether the cladding on your building is combustible (or to use the less scary word – non-conforming), you are soon going to be forced to find out. The issue over what cladding has been used on buildings crystallised after the Grenfell Tower fire in the UK in 2017.  Australia’s equivalent (without the horrific loss of life in Grenfell) was the Lacrosse Tower fire in Melbourne in 2014. The ABC’s Four Corners covered the issue in this excellent episode. Since then the wheels of respective state governments have turned very slowly.  Victoria has their cladding task force and has now come up with a rectification solution that will allow lot ownersRead More →