If you live in a Body Corporate community, the chances are you’ve heard of something called by-laws.
By-laws are the rules of a Body Corporate that all the owners have agreed to abide by. The by-laws are voted on by all owners and they are recorded in the Community Management Statement (CMS).
If your community doesn’t have any specific by-laws then, by default, Schedule 4 of the Body Corporate and Queensland Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 becomes your by-laws.
By-laws have to be consistent with the legislation, so it cannot:
- Be inconsistent with the Act or any other legislation;
- Stop or restrict a sale, lease, transfer, mortgage or other dealing with a lot;
- Discriminate between types of occupiers;
- Be unreasonable, when the interests of all owners and occupiers in the scheme and the use of the common property are considered;
- Restrict the type of residential use of a residential lot;
- Impose a monetary liability on an owner or occupier (except in an exclusive use by-law);
- Stop an owner or occupier from installing solar hot water or solar power on their lot because it affects the look of the building; or
- Stop a person with a disability from having a guide, hearing or assistance dog on the scheme.
If a by-law does not comply with the legislation, it may be invalid.
If an adjudicator decides that a by-law is invalid, they may make the Body Corporate record a new community management statement and remove or amend the invalid by-law.
However, a body corporate’s recorded by-laws apply unless, and until, an adjudicator decides a by-law is invalid.
So, where do you find your by-laws?
If you happened to have misplaced the copy of the by-laws given to you when you purchased a property (or if you want to make sure you have the very latest by-laws), you can apply for a copy of the Community Management Scheme through the Queensland Titles Registry.
You can fill out the Community Management / By-Laws request by clicking here.