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      I am reaching out as a last resort after being ignored—and treated unfairly—by my body corporate for the past 10 years. I know I’m not the only person in Brisbane experiencing body corporate-related grievances, but I am sick of nothing been done about it

      My complex’s body corporate manager … has a 2.3-star rating on Google based on 64 reviews (this rating and amount of reviews seem to go up and down each day?). It’s evident others, too, are less than thrilled with the subpar service, but no-one takes our concerns seriously. Emails go ignored and phone calls unanswered yet they continue to take our money (and want us to sign on for another 12 months). 

      Our complex’s AGM is coming up this weekend and one resident has decided to nominate himself for a position on the committee. His frustrations (as you can tell) are similar to mine and this has prompted him to take action. He has been bullied, talked down to, palmed off and at the same time ignored by the committee. He feels he has no other way of being heard unless he secures enough votes to get a position on [the block’s] body corporate committee. It is ridiculous that this is the lengths body corporate-paying residents must go to for someone [like the body corporate manager] to acknowledge a structural concern associated with their property. This is despite [the company’s] website claiming they ‘deliver(s) on our promise of service excellence’. 

      The only time I am worthy of [their] attention is when they have issues with me. For instance, I had to erect a cat enclosure after my cat was accused of leaving … fur on a previous resident’s outdoor setting. My cat is now confined to my property while other long term residents are allowed to have their cat(s) roam the complex without so much as a contravention notice.  

      I was then taken to the BCCM for my daughter parking her car in the visitor’s car park. No consideration was given to the shorter driveway we—and one or two others in a complex of 60+ units—have. The committee is now able to tow my daughter’s car if she is ever parked there, but this is where the policing of tenant cars in visitor spaces stops. Repeat offenders can do as they please without being reprimanded. Bona fide visitors can partially block my neighbour’s driveway and no-one in a position of power speaks up or has that other person’s car towed. 

      The committee members do as they please—they are happy to turn a blind eye to certain ‘rule breakers’ and don’t want to acknowledge the myriad other problems residents bring to their attention. A recent request for a fencing contractor to rectify his work has, not surprisingly, fallen on deaf ears. Another resident, the one running for (new) chairperson, was asked to source an engineer to quote on the stormwater drain that overflows into his property.  

      I think if you were to look into this story, those living in body corporate-governed residences may finally get the accountability and transparency they are so desperately seeking. 

      JT: This post had several mentions of the company complained about and the building concerned. As much as we understand the urge to “name and shame”, this contravenes our policy of anonymity and has therefore been redacted accordingly.

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      One way to tackle the issues could be by considering to become the committee, as your neighbour has done.  In QLD, the body corporate cannot delegate its functions – only authorise people to do things.  Thus, your body corporate manager (BCM) does not have the power to make decisions, they only should act on instructions from committee.

      If you believe that there are others who contravene by-laws, you can take action as individual owner if the committee does not act after you have let them know.  BCMs n QLD can be engaged for a max 3 years, so the chances are that you will be voting soon for a new BCM.  You can obtain the quotes for a different BCM and submit them for consideration at the general meeting.

      You can also require committee to vote on motions – up to 6 motions in a financial year – with legislation requiring a committee to act and respond to you.  Living in strata is requires personal involvement, even if you pay BCM for administration.  Committee members are volunteers, and in most cases do not get any honorariums for their time.  They are, however, bound by their legislative duty to act in the best interest of all owners in all they do or not do, and they do have a Code of Conduct in legislation to abide by.  Giving them any support (by, e.g. sourcing a quote from a contractor to help to speed up the repairs) is not unreasonable and provides for the shared workload.

      There are also some changes just introduced to QLD Parliament regarding BCCM Act 1997, that includes issue of parking and ability of body corporate to tow that may help you deal with the issue of other owners parking unlawfully in visitors’ spaces.  UOAQ is an association that supports QLD owners, check their website for more information.

      Exercise your rights as an owner via conciliation process as soon as the issue arises and is not dealt with via self-resolution process.  Conciliation does not require representation and the conciliator will be familiar with the BCCM legislation that will help to understand your issues within the framework of legislation.

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by .
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