Maintenance issues not specifically covered in the Act
The legislation that controls bodies corporate cannot include specific laws about every possible maintenance issue in a community titles scheme.
If the legislation does not deal directly with your issue, the first thing to do is see where the item is located and who is responsible for that location and that item.
This will depend on the plan of subdivision your building/s is registered under and the regulation module that applies.
Adjudicators are able to make orders in most body corporate disputes. Search online at the Australasian Legal Information Institute for decision by adjudicators from the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management.
This page lists some of the maintenance issues that may come up in your body corporate. It also gives you a link to adjudicators’ orders on the topic to help you work out who is responsible for the maintenance.
Questions about fences that divide properties may come under the Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 (previously known as the dividing fences legislation).
For information about this legislation see:
Section 311 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 says that responsibility for a:
- fence between a lot and the common property is shared equally between the lot owner and the body corporate
- fence between 2 lots is shared equally between the lot owners
- boundary fence between a lot and an adjoining property is shared equally between the body corporate and the adjoining property owner because the fence is in essence the boundary of the scheme.
See Everton Manors for an adjudicator’s decision on dividing fences.
The body corporate is generally responsible for any pest inspection, prevention and treatment work on common property.
A lot owner is responsible for any pest inspection and treatment work that is needed within their lot.
See the adjudicator’s order in Magnetic International Resort Hotel for more on who is responsible for pest control.
Supply of services by a body corporate
To benefit lot owners and occupiers, the body corporate may offer to supply or arrange for services that owners or occupiers are responsible for.
For example, the body corporate could:
- organise for cleaning or painting of the exterior of lots (which owners are responsible for)
- provide mowing of yards within lots
- arrange pest inspections or treatments (that owners are responsible for)
- supply electricity or other services used by the occupiers of lots
- supply communication services such as a PABX or pay television to lots.
It can be cheaper or easier for the body corporate to organise for work or a service for many lots, rather than each owner or occupier organising it individually. The body corporate can do this at the same time as it does work or organises services that it is responsible for.
The body corporate can only supply a service to an owner or occupier if it has an agreement with the owner or occupier. It is not enough for the body corporate to have passed a general meeting resolution agreeing to provide the service.
Paying for services
The body corporate can charge its costs as part of the service supply agreement with the owner or occupier.
These costs can include:
- installing, maintaining and operating any utility infrastructure needed to supply the service
- buying, operating, maintaining and replacing any equipment needed to supply the service.
The body corporate cannot charge users of the service for its administrative work and cannot make a profit from the supply of the service.
Supply charges for the service must be paid by each user. They are not part of the body corporate levies.