Promoting and protecting the rights and lifestyles
of unit-owners in Queensland since 1978
To the strata industry in Queensland,
The Unit Owners Association of Queensland Inc. (“UOAQ”) represents thousands of unit owners whose homes and investments are governed by the Body Corporate and Community Management legislation. The substance of our work reflects the fact that members of the strata industry often overlook that it is for the ultimate and primary benefit of owners of lots that community title schemes exist in Queensland, not the third party service providers. Moreover, it is through the payment of levies and purchase monies that owners also serve as the ultimate and primary underwriters of the commerce and trade associated with the initial and ongoing functioning of community schemes. As you know, owners are also formally members of bodies corporate of community titles schemes in whose best interest representative committees of bodies corporate and third party service providers are obliged to act.
From time to time, owners believe it necessary to express a public view on the application of certain provisions of the law or dysfunctionality within the strata environment. On this occasion, we recognize section 94 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the “Act”) that: “…the body corporate must act reasonably in anything that it does…”. Further, we acknowledge that this test of reasonableness is regarded as objective taking into account all facts and circumstances.
In view of this, the UOAQ pens this open letter seeking to:
The motivation for this open letter is to bring clarity and assurance to homeowners and investors in community title schemes in Queensland.
The Standing Elements
There are certain factors that apply to all situations involving bodies corporate (the “Standing Elements”). These Standing Elements do not change regardless of the circumstances of the case. However, if Standing Elements are not taken into account, determinations on what is ‘reasonable’ may result in different outcomes the section 94 test of reasonableness applies. Accordingly, the UOAQ advocates that the Standing Elements should be taken into account in all determinations on what is reasonable. The Standing Elements include the fact that:
Applying these factors to a given circumstance will affect outcomes. For instance, an adjudication order is not well grounded if unreasonableness is found in the actions of the body corporate committee but the third party claimant is not acting in the best interests of the body corporate members. Alternatively, a committee’s actions should be weighed as more likely to be reasonable if they are in the best interests of the body corporate members and a claimant seeks an outcome which is not.