Renting in a body corporate
This page outlines the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords letting units within community titles schemes.
By-laws are the rules that the body corporate makes to regulate:
- use of the lots and common property
- behaviour of owners and occupiers within the scheme.
Each body corporate has its own set of by-laws, which are registered on the community management statement.
Tenants must comply with the by-laws and should be given a copy of them when they start their lease.
Learn more about information to be given to a tenant at the start of a lease.
Keeping animals at the property is often the subject of a by-law. You need to ask permission from both your landlord and the body corporate before moving an animal into your unit.
Changes to tenancy legislation starting 1 October 2022 supports tenants and landlords reaching an agreement about keeping an animal. However, even if your landlord agrees to your request for an animal, you must still ask the body corporate for permission if the by-law requires you to.
Learn more about how the changes to tenancy legislation impacts tenants wanting animals in a body corporate.
If your landlord says no to your request for an animal, you may wish to contact the Residential Tenancies Authority for more information.
The body corporate must act reasonably when considering your request for an animal. If the body corporate says no to your request, read more about:
If you do not comply with a by-law, the body corporate can enforce it against you.
You can also ask the body corporate to enforce a by-law against someone else living in the community titles scheme if they are not complying with the by-law. Read more about enforcing by-laws.
The owner of a lot is given a copy of their tenant’s by-law contravention notice at the same time as the tenant. It is up to the owner if they want to pursue any additional action against the tenant under the residential tenancies legislation.
Asking for body corporate approval
Under the legislation, tenants have the right to ask the body corporate to do things such as maintain the common property.
Depending on the by-laws, you may also have to ask for permission from the body corporate for things like:
- parking on the common property
- keeping a pet
- making minor modifications to a lot.
In most situations the committee will make the decision to grant approval.
If you don’t know how to contact the body corporate, you can ask your landlord for the details of the body corporate manager or committee secretary.
Once you know who to contact, you must put any requests in writing.
You can also ask the owner of your lot to propose a motion on your behalf, but they are not obliged to do so.
There is no specific timeframe for committees to respond to a tenant’s request.
Committees make decisions by either:
If the committee doesn’t agree to your request, or if they don’t respond to your request, you can lodge a conciliation application with our office.
You may want to follow up on your request with the committee if you don’t get a response within a reasonable timeframe.
Read more about:
Landlords have maintenance obligations under the residential tenancies legislation. Sometimes these obligations overlap with the body corporate’s legal obligations for maintenance under the body corporate legislation.
The plan of subdivision a scheme is registered under determines what the body corporate is responsible for maintaining. To find out about your scheme, ask your body corporate or contact Titles Queensland on 07 3497 3479.
Read more about maintenance responsibilities:
Changes to tenancy laws will require certain parts of a property to be maintained to a certain standard before the unit can be let out. They require:
- the premises to be weatherproof and structurally sound
- fixtures and fittings to be in good repair and not likely to cause injury to a person
- locks on windows and doors
- the premises to be free from vermin, damp and mould
- privacy coverings (e.g. curtains or blinds)
- adequate plumbing and drainage
- functioning kitchen and laundry facilities (where supplied).
If the body corporate is responsible for any of these things in your community titles scheme, owners can propose motions for the body corporate to consider.
Read more about:
These changes come into effect on:
- 1 September 2023 for new tenancies
- 1 September 2024 for existing tenancies.
Find out more about minimum housing standards.
Tenants can also ask the body corporate to maintain the common property. If you have asked your landlord to maintain something and they haven’t done so, check to see if the body corporate may be responsible for it.
If the body corporate is responsible for maintaining a part of the common property, you can write and ask them to fix it. Alternatively, you can ask your landlord to propose a motion on your behalf for the body corporate to maintain the common property.
Contacting the body corporate
Tenants can contact the body corporate directly if they want to ask them to do something. The best contacts are:
- the body corporate manager
- the onsite manager
- a committee member.
To find this information, ask your landlord or letting agent.
Disputes with the body corporate
Tenants may be able to lodge a dispute application to resolve a dispute that arises with their body corporate.
Common disputes tenants have with bodies corporate include where the body corporate:
- declines a request under a by-law (e.g. a request for approval to keep a pet)
- does not agree to a maintenance request.
If you are in a dispute with the body corporate, you need to try to resolve the issue yourself before seeking our input. If this is unsuccessful, you can consider lodging a conciliation application with us.
When the dispute is about asking the body corporate to enforce a by-law, a notice of contravention of a by-law (Form 1) must be given to the body corporate before a conciliation application is lodged.
Read more about:
The body corporate cannot evict you, regardless of your dispute.
Body corporate records
Sometimes tenants can access body corporate records upon submitting a written request and paying the required fee.
For example, a tenant may want to:
- access the minutes of a meeting where a decision was made about something that affects them
- get a copy of the body corporate roll to contact other owners or tenants.
Tenants can access body corporate records if they can satisfy the body corporate that they have a proper interest in the documents they are seeking access to.
Read more about:
A lot owner who has a lease or sublease on their lot for 6 months or longer must give the body corporate the name and address for service of the tenant, as well as the term of the lease. They must also advise the body corporate if the lease or sublease is transferred or terminated.
The written notice must be given to the body corporate within one month of the lease or sublease starting, transferring or terminating.
Disputes with the landlord or your letting agent
If you believe your landlord or letting agent is not complying with their obligations under residential tenancies legislation you can contact the Residential Tenancies Authority.