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Body corporate manager

A body corporate can engage a body corporate manager to supply administrative services to the body corporate.

At present, body corporate managers do not need to be licensed in Queensland. There are no formal training requirements or qualifications needed to be a body corporate manager.

When a body corporate manager is needed

A body corporate is not legally required to have a manager. They may choose to engage a manager when:

  • there is a committee—to perform some or all of the powers of the executive members of the committee and/or to assist the committee
  • there is no committee—to carry out functions in place of the committee.

Duties of a body corporate manager

The duties of a body corporate manager can differ depending on whether the body corporate has a committee or not.

With a committee

If a body corporate has chosen a committee, the body corporate manager is engaged to help them. The manager can only do what the body corporate asks them to.

The duties of the manager are contained in the written engagement they enter into with the body corporate.

A manager automatically becomes a non-voting member of the body corporate committee. The voting members of the committee can ask a manager not to attend a committee meeting.

Maintenance of common property

The manager is not responsible for maintenance of the common property, but may organise work if the committee asks them to.

Exercising the executive committee members' powers

Usually the manager is authorised to perform the duties of secretary and treasurer including:

  • calling committee and general meetings
  • sending out levy notices and by-law contravention notices
  • sending out the minutes of meetings and managing the body corporate’s money
  • receiving voting papers.

A manager authorised to exercise the chairperson’s powers can help the elected chairperson but can only chair the meeting if the:

  • elected chairperson is not present and the manager is elected to chair the meeting
  • role of the chairperson is vacant and the manager is elected to chair the meeting
  • manager is the only person forming a quorum at an adjourned meeting.

The committee’s powers are not lessened by the authority given to the manager. Executive members of the committee can still act within their authority (e.g. the secretary can still call a committee meeting if asked to do so).

Without a committee

A body corporate manager engaged when there is no committee is authorised to carry out all the functions of a committee and to exercise all committee powers. The body corporate manager makes the decisions that a committee would usually make.

See sections 74 to 78 of the Standard Module regulation for more about the responsibilities of a manager during and at the end of a contract.

Managing administrative and sinking funds

A manager operating in a body corporate with or without a committee can be asked to manage the funds.

When a manager is authorised to look after the body corporate’s administrative and sinking funds, the manager must:

  • comply with the sections of the regulations relating to the administrative and sinking funds
  • prepare a reconciliation statement for all accounts within 21 days after the last day of each month, including
    • the financial institution statement showing amounts in and out of the account
    • invoices and other documents showing payments in and out of the account.

Code of conduct of a body corporate manager

The body corporate manager must comply with the code of conduct for body corporate managers and caretaking service contractors when performing under their engagement.

The code of conduct is automatically included in the terms of their engagement. If there is a difference between the code of conduct and the manager’s engagement, then you should always refer to the code of conduct.

Under the code of conduct, a body corporate manager must:

  • have a good knowledge and understanding of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 and the code that applies to their functions
  • act honestly, fairly and professionally in doing their job
  • act in the best interests of the body corporate (if lawful to do so)
  • not be fraudulent or misleading
  • not unfairly influence the outcome of a committee election
  • keep records as required by the Act.

Engaging a body corporate manager

With a committee

The committee does not have the power to engage a body corporate manager.

The body corporate must pass a motion at a general meeting by ordinary resolution to engage a body corporate manager under a contract. The terms of the contract must be included in the documents sent to members of the body corporate before the general meeting takes place.

The written engagement must list:

  • all of the duties the manager is authorised to carry out
  • the length of the engagement (must not be longer than 3 years)
  • the payment arrangements.

Without a committee

If a body corporate is unable to elect a committee, it can pass a motion at a general meeting to engage a manager.

If the body corporate can’t fill all the executive positions at their annual general meeting, or the total number of voting members is less than 3, they can decide to engage a manager by either:

  • including a motion on the agenda of the annual general meeting
  • holding an extraordinary general meeting

The extraordinary general meeting must be held within 2 months of the annual general meeting. The meeting’s agenda must include a motion to engage a body corporate manager as the last item.

The notice for the general meeting where the motion is included must include the terms of the contract and an explanatory note.

The explanatory note must outline:

  • the circumstances in which a manager can be engaged
  • the committee functions the manager will perform
  • restrictions applying to the manager’s authority
  • how the engagement can be terminated.

The motion must pass by special resolution and must be a secret ballot (unless the body corporate has decided, by passing a motion by ordinary resolution, that the motion can be an open ballot). No votes can be made by proxy.

The engagement must be in writing and state:

  • that the manager must carry out all the functions of the committee and each executive member of the committee
  • that the manager is authorised to exercise all the powers of the committee and each executive member of the committee
  • the way to work out payment for the manager’s services.

The engagement will end either:

  • at the end of the body corporate’s next annual general meeting after the general meeting where the engagement was approved
  • 12 months after the day the engagement began.

How to terminate a body corporate manager's engagement

A manager’s engagement can be ended if they:

  • agree
  • are convicted of an offence involving dishonesty, fraud or assault
  • fail to perform their duties, or comply with the Act or code of conduct.

Failing to perform or comply

To end the manager’s engagement for failing to perform duties, comply with the Act or code of conduct, the body corporate must issue a remedial action notice. This decision can be made by the committee of the body corporate.

The remedial action notice must state:

  • the duties the manager has not performed or the details of claimed breach of the code of conduct
  • a notice period (no less than 14 days) for the manager must fix the issue
  • that if the manager does not comply within the notice period, the body corporate can end their engagement.

If the manager does not comply with the notice within the period, the body corporate can terminate the manager’s engagement by ordinary resolution at a general meeting.

Serving a remedial action notice when there is no committee

If the body corporate wants to terminate a manager’s engagement when there is no committee, the decision to serve the remedial action notice can be made by the owners of a least one half of the lots included in the scheme.