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Enforcing by-laws in a two-lot scheme

The body corporate is responsible for enforcing its by-laws.

Depending on who is taking action to enforce the by-laws, there are different steps that must be taken.

This information outlines how to deal with by-law breaches for schemes registered under the Specified Two-lot Schemes Regulation Module.

Contravention notices

If a lot owner believes that another owner or occupier is breaching the by-laws, they can speak to them informally to try and resolve the issue.

If that doesn’t work, the first formal step under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 is to give a by-law contravention notice to the person it believes is breaching the by-laws.

There are 2 types of contravention notices, continuing contravention notices and future contravention notices.

Continuing contravention notice

The lot owner (the complainant) may give a continuing contravention notice to an owner or occupier if they reasonably believe the person is breaching a by-law, and it is likely that they will continue.

For example, if an owner has made a change to the outside of the appearance of their lot without the approval required in the by-law.

The purpose of this notice is to ask the person to fix the problem within a certain time.

The notice must:

  • say that the complainant believes that the person is breaching a by-law
  • detail the by-law that the complainant believes is being breached
  • explain how the by-law is being breached
  • set a time period for the person to fix the problem
  • explain that if the person does not comply the complainant may
    • start action in the Magistrates Court
    • lodge a conciliation application with us.

The owner can use the Notice on continuing contravention of a body corporate by law (Specified Two-Lot Scheme) BCCM Form 27, or send a letter which says all those things.

When the notice is issued, the person (complainant) must also:

  • give a copy of the notice to the body corporate
  • if the notice was given to an occupier, give a copy of the notice to the owner of that lot
  • if the notice was given because a complaint was made by the occupier of the owner’s lot, let the occupier know that the notice has been given.

Future contravention notice

The lot owner (the complainant) may give a future contravention notice to an owner or occupier if they reasonably believe the person has breached a by-law, and it is likely that the breach will be repeated.

This notice would apply if an occupier often had parties which breached a noise by-law.

The purpose of the future contravention notice is to ask the person not to repeat the breach.

The notice must:

  • say that the complainant believes that the person is breaching a by-law
  • detail the by-law that the complainant believes is being breached
  • explain how the by-law is being breached
  • tell the person not to repeat the breach
  • explain that if the person does not stop, the complainant may
    • start action in the Magistrates Court
    • lodge a conciliation application with us.

The owner can use the Notice regarding likely future contravention of a body corporate bylaw (Specified Two Lot Scheme) BCCM Form 28, or send a letter which says all those things.

When the notice is issued, the person (complainant) must also:

  • give a copy of the notice to the body corporate
  • if the notice was given to an occupier, give a copy of the notice to the owner of that lot
  • if the notice was given because a complaint was made by the occupier of the owner’s lot, let the occupier know that the notice has been given.

Complaint by an occupier

If the occupier of a lot believes that another owner or occupier has breached a by-law, they can ask the owner of the lot they occupy, to give a contravention notice.

They do this by giving the owner a Notice to owner of a contravention of a body corporate by-law (Specified Two-Lot Scheme) (BCCM Form 25).

Failure to comply with a contravention notice

If a person does not comply with a contravention notice they have been given, the complainant may choose to:

  • start proceedings in the Magistrates Court for the offence of failing to comply with the notice
  • lodge a conciliation application with us to enforce the by-law.

A fine of more than $2500 can be imposed by the Magistrates Court for failure to comply with the notice.

Dispute resolution applications

An owner or occupier can apply to us to enforce the by-laws if they have undertaken the required steps.

Application by a lot owner

A lot owner can only lodge an application with us to enforce a by-law if they have issued a contravention notice to the owner or occupier they believe is breaching the by-law.

However, an exemption may apply in urgent circumstances.

Find out how to apply for conciliation.

Application by an occupier

An occupier who believes another owner or occupier is breaching a by-law must first give the owner of the lot they occupy a notice of the by-law breach.

The occupier can only lodge an application with us to enforce a by-law if the owner of their lot has not sent a contravention notice or told them within 14 days of getting the complaint notice that they have sent the contravention notice.

However, an exemption may apply in urgent circumstances.

Find out how to apply for conciliation.

Urgent by-law issues

In some cases an application may be made to us without following the steps above.

This would apply if:

or

  • the application is for the interim order of an adjudicator

and

  • there are ‘special circumstances’ which justify the dispute being resolved urgently—special circumstances are if the alleged by-law breach is:
    • likely to cause injury to people or serious damage to property
    • a risk to people’s health or safety
    • causing a serious nuisance to people
    • for another reason, giving rise to an emergency.

Find out how to apply for conciliation.

Further questions?

If you have further body corporate questions you can submit an enquiry or phone the information service on 1800 060 119 (freecall).

We cannot give legal advice or rulings—we can only give you general information on body corporate legislation.

Last updated
5 February 2018
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