The terminology and legislation that comes with Strata living is something that not everyone understands or even comes across until we purchase into a Strata property. The SSKB team has created a FAQ to answer some of our most frequently asked strata questions by unit owners.
Q: I want to apply to keep a pet?
A: An application will need to be made in writing to the Committee describing the pet and providing full details including relevant registrations. An application form is available on the SSKB website which will be forwarded to the Committee for their consideration. Each Strata scheme has it’s own by-laws regarding animals and the response received will be determined by your scheme’s Committee.
Q: Who is responsible for the maintenance of common areas?
A: The Body Corporate, regardless of the size of the scheme is responsible for the common areas. If an area in question is on the title of a lot, , then the Owner of that Lot is responsible for the maintenance of that area.
Another possibility arises if there is an area such as a courtyard or garden area allocated via an exclusive use by-law to a particular lot. Exclusive use allocations will be registered in your scheme’s current Community Management Statement (CMS) which may show a table of allocations for each lot along with a plan. An example of an exclusive use area would be a car space, storage cage or courtyard garden. If an exclusive use area is defined within the CMS, this indicates the area is common property but exclusively for the use of the single Owner. Generally, the maintenance of a garden on exclusive use is the responsibility of the Lot Owner and not the Body Corporate but each Owner should check their CMS to be sure.
Q: Isn’t SSKB The Body Corporate?
A: No, you – the owners – make up the Body Corporate. SSKB is your Community Manager. Our role is to work with your Committee to ensure that your community runs smoothly in accordance with the Act and regulations that apply to your scheme.
Q: Do I need permission to make improvements to my lot?
A: Applications are required in writing addressed to the Committee of your Body Corporate – SSKB. Your application should include detailed plans and specifications to enable your Committee to make an informed decision. The application will be tabled at the next Committee meeting. Schemes have anywhere from one to four committee meetings per year.
You should also read your by-laws for any requirements specific to your building. Some applications, such as some improvement to common property by an owner, require approval via a general meeting and your Community Manager can assist with this.
Q: How are exclusive use areas first allocated?
A: The allocation and reallocation of exclusive use areas such as car parks is generally covered within your contract of sale between you and the original owner. Any inconsistencies with your understanding of which car parks are to be yours should be discussed with your solicitor who acted for you during the settlement process and then addressed accordingly.
Q: A Committee member has resigned and has recommended a suitable candidate to replace him/her. Does the Committee have to wait to vote at the AGM?
A: – Queensland specific
How a Body Corporate fills a vacancy depends on how the vacancy arose and which Regulation Module the scheme is registered under with the QLD Department of Natural Resources. The Regulation Module can be identified from the Community Management Statement for your building.
The following information pertains to the Queensland BCCM Standard Module and Accommodation Module.
The vacancy must be filled to maintain the same number of Committee members as were voted in at the last annual general meeting.
The Body Corporate cannot increase or decrease its numbers on the Committee during the year. For example, if six people were elected to the Committee at the last annual general meeting, the Body Corporate must ensure it keeps six members for the whole year.
If the resigning member doesn’t leave the Committee short of a quorum, the Committee has two options to fill the casual vacancy. Within 1 month after the position of the member of the Committee becomes vacant, the Committee must:
1. appoint an eligible person to fill the vacancy (at the next Committee meeting or by Vote Outside Committee) within, or
2. call a general meeting to choose an eligible person to fill the vacancy
However, if the resignation of the member leaves the Committee unable to form a quorum, the Committee must call a general meeting.
The decision on who fills a casual vacancy is one for the Committee, and they do not need to refer to previous nominees or send nomination forms to all owners.
You will also find useful information here: https://www.qld.gov.au/law/housing-and-neighbours/body-corporate/forming-a-body-corporate-Committee/filling-casual-vacancies
Q: What is a quorum?
A: A quorum is required in order for both a Committee and general meeting to proceed and both have difference criteria.
For a Committee meeting under BCCM at least half of the voting Committee members need to be represented. So for a Committee of seven, at least four members need to be represented which could be in person or by proxy to another Committee member.
For a general meeting a quorum is 25% of eligible voters and for schemes with three or more voters at least 2 voters present in person. Any lots owned by a company need to have a company nominee noted on the roll in order to count as a voter. You will also find useful information here: . https://www.qld.gov.au/law/housing-and-neighbours/body-corporate/Committees-meetings/general-meetings/annual/running
Q: What is an arrears notice?
A: An arrears notice is sent when your Body Corporate has not received payment for your levies (Body Corporate) by the due date. This arrears notice is sent out under authorisation of your Committee. Dates for payment of contributions are set out in the minutes of your annual general meeting forwarded to you each year, and may also appear in your budget minutes and your levy letter that accompanies your annual general meeting minutes.
Owners can view their account and make payments by following the link to the Portal Log In link at www.sskb.com.au.
Q: What happens if my account is in arrears?
A: Without levy payments, your community cannot meet its financial commitments for essential maintenance and services.
Your Body Corporate is entitled to institute recovery action and, after a certain period of time, is required by the Act to institute action to recover any payment in arrears, including interest accrued and reasonable costs involved in recovery of the overdue contributions. Additional costs are incurred by your Body Corporate in recovering late payments as budgets are calculated only on funds required to maintain the common property and meet its contracted commitments, however these costs are recoverable from the Owner concerned.
Q: I need to change my address, what do you require?
A: The legislation requires that all address changes must be notified in writing. This is the responsibility of the owner and can be in one of two ways:
Via the SSKB Portal
You can access the portal by going to www.sskb.com.au and click Portal Log In using your unique lot owner’s login and password. Go to the ‘My Info’ tab on the SSKB Portal and selecting ‘My Details’. Your updated details are submitted to SSKB automatically.
Via the Online Form
Click on one of the following links:
QLD Change of Address
VIC Change of Address
NSW Change of Address
- Email to: email@example.com
- Facsimile: 07 5504 2001
- Post: PO Box 8319, GCMC QLD 9726
The following information is required:
- Community Name
- CTS Number
- Full name(s) of owner(s)
- Lot Number
- New mailing address for correspondence, notices minutes
- New mailing address for contribution notices if different to the above
- Telephone Number
- Fax (if applicable)
- Email Address
Written communication assists in ensuring that correct details are recorded.
SSKB Strata Managers have been operating for over 20 years and currently manage over 35,000 lots. If you are with a strata company who do not have the knowledge and experience to answer your questions, click here to make the switch to SSKB.
If you have any questions that relate to your strata scheme, please contact your Community Manager directly.