The end of the academic year marks the beginning of Schoolies, where Year 12 school leavers let down their hair and descend on some of the country’s most popular holiday spots.
High spirits and immaturity combined can cause headaches for owners and residents alike in Body Corporate communities.
On Monday, Chris Irons, the Body Corporate and Community Management Commissioner, released information on what Bodies Corporate can and cannot do regarding the influx of teenage arrivals.
Here are the key takeaways:
Under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the Act) a body corporate has control over common property.
However, it cannot unilaterally take action such as locking doors to restrict access to areas within a lot.
A body corporate may instead consider information or education which would be directed at all occupiers (including owners), about safe use and enjoyment of lots, including balconies.
By-Laws and Scheme Management
A body corporate may make ‘house rules’ as a guide for the use of common property and amenities such as pools and tennis courts.
While these might be useful in encouraging a standard of behaviour, house rules are not enforceable unless they are registered as by-laws in the CMS. By-laws do not take effect (in other words, are not enforceable) until the CMS is registered with the Titles Office.
The Act places some limits on the scope of by-laws and one of those limits is that a by-law may not discriminate between types of occupiers.
This means, for example, that a body corporate cannot prevent a ‘Schoolie’ from using parts of common property that other occupiers are entitled to use and for which there is no exclusive use by-law.
Enforcement of By-laws
A body corporate may give a contravention notice to an owner or occupier where it reasonably believes that a person has contravened a by-law, and where, given the circumstances, it is likely that the contravention will continue, or be repeated.
The purpose of a contravention notice is to require the person to remedy the contravention.
Under sections 182 and 183 of the Act, the decision to serve a contravention notice can be made by a committee or a body corporate in a general meeting.
There is no provision in the Act for a body corporate to delegate the enforcement powers to an onsite manager, although they may report alleged contraventions to the body corporate through the completion of a Form 1 notice.
The History of Schoolies
Not surprisingly, Schoolies as we know it today had its origins on the Gold Coast.
In the mid-1970s the November-December periods were slow periods for accommodation managers, so they decided to take a leaf from a concept proving popular in the US – Spring Break, in which university students and high school graduates would get together and party.
One of the big stars to take part in the early Schoolies celebration was the Abigail from the notorious TV show Number 96.
Support Services for Schoolies
There are a number of government and non-government support services available during the Schoolies period including:
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