Adjudication for body corporate disputes
Adjudication is a more formal process than conciliation. An adjudicator makes a decision after considering the application and written submissions from all those affected by the dispute.
You can only make an adjudication application if you (as the applicant) have tried self resolution and in most cases attempted conciliation with the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management (the BCCM office).
Apply for adjudication
This online form creates a completed application that you can print and send to the BCCM office.
Or you can download the adjudication application form.
Call us on 1800 060 119 (freecall) if you cannot download the form.
There are fees for adjudication applications.
You can send your completed form and all attachments to us by:
- post to GPO Box 1049, Brisbane QLD 4001
- email to email@example.com
- fax to (07) 3006 2551
Please email us when communicating about new or current applications. See Practice Direction 3: Communication and document management for more details about this issue.
What disputes can be decided by adjudication
Adjudicators determine disputes that involve claimed contraventions (breaches) of:
- the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
- a community management statement for a community titles scheme.
Disputes an adjudicator cannot decide
An adjudicator cannot:
- resolve questions about title of land
- decide a dispute about a debt owed to the body corporate.
Decisions about these certain types of complex disputes can only be made by:
For more information see:
The adjudication process
To apply for adjudication, you must complete the adjudication application form.
You will be asked for more details if your application is not complete, is unclear, or does not meet the requirements of the legislation. Your application could be rejected if you do not provide all the information requested.
You can amend or add to your application after it is lodged. If your amendment is not received before submissions have been sought from others, conditions may be imposed (e.g. you may have to send the amendments to everyone who has been asked to make a submission).
The respondent (i.e. the other person in the dispute) and others affected by the dispute will usually be asked to make a written submission.
If invited to make a submission, it is an individual's choice if he or she wants to do so. However, if you choose not to make a submission you need to be aware that this may limit your ability to appeal any order made.
Those invited must make any submissions within a specified timeframe. In some cases, the Commissioner may extend the time limit.
The body corporate, a committee member or anyone who has made a submission may ask for a copy of the application and all submissions. The BCCM Office must charge a legislative fee for the copies and it must be paid by whoever requests them.
Right of reply
You (the applicant) can make a written reply to the submissions. You are the only person who has a right of reply.
Your reply must not bring up any new issues. If it does, your reply might have to be circulated to the others involved for further submissions. This could delay the dispute.
Ways to resolve the dispute
Once the reply period has ended, the Commissioner will decide the best way to resolve the dispute. The most common options include:
What the adjudicator considers
When considering a dispute, an adjudicator has the power to:
- request information (e.g. expert reports)
- interview the people involved in the dispute (and others if necessary)
- obtain or inspect body corporate records
- inspect lots, or common property in a community titles scheme.
The adjudicator will make a formal order deciding the dispute after considering:
- the application
- all submissions
- the reply to submissions
- any further information the adjudicator has asked for.
An adjudicator must decide whether an order should be made. An adjudicator can make an order that is ‘just and equitable’ to resolve the dispute.
- declare a committee or general meeting, or a motion at a meeting, void
- declare a committee or general meeting motion to have passed
- require a general meeting to be held to deal with specific business
- declare a by-law invalid
- require the body corporate or an owner to undertake maintenance
- require a body corporate to provide access to body corporate records.
An adjudicator can also appoint an administrator with the authority to do the job of a body corporate or committee.
An adjudicator can dismiss an application if it is frivolous, vexatious or without substance. You (the applicant) may have to pay up to $2,000 in costs if your application is dismissed for one of these reasons.
An adjudicator can also dismiss an application for other reasons such as:
- if they don't have the authority to decide the dispute
- if the dispute should be decided by a court or tribunal.
Withdrawing an application
If you decide you don’t want to proceed with your application—because the dispute is resolved or for any other reason—you can ask in writing to withdraw the application.
The application fee will not be refunded.
Enforcing an adjudicator’s order
The Magistrates Court can enforce the adjudicator's order.
The court can impose fines of up to $52,220 if you do not comply with an order.
Appealing against an order
You must start the appeal within 6 weeks from the date of the adjudicator’s order (unless a later start is allowed by the court).
You can ask for a specialist adjudicator to be appointed to decide a dispute. This can be useful if your dispute is complex or requires expert knowledge.
You and the other people in the dispute must agree on both appointing a specialist adjudicator and who that person will be. You must also agree on how you will pay the costs.
Please be aware that we will make your application available to others in the dispute. Some information in your application will also be made public if the adjudicator makes an order.
Read more about privacy and access to personal information.