If your rental property is an apartment unit or a townhouse, then it typically forms part of a community title scheme. Your property is part of a complex of common property such as foyer, pool, gymnasium, lifts and driveways.
What is a Body Corporate?
When buying into a community title scheme, the property owner becomes part of the Body Corporate. The Body Corporate is headed by a committee, which is made up of between 3 and 7 elected members who can consist of the lot owners, nominated relatives of lot owners, or individuals appointed under power of attorney by lot owners.
What are Body Corporate by-laws?
The Body Corporate has a set of by-laws, which are a set of rules that provide owners and tenants with the rights and responsibilities of all parties. These by-laws relate to the use of the property, common areas and any facilities.
Common by-laws include:
- Use of facilities (pools, laundry facilities, lifts, gyms, lobby, parking areas)
- Obstructing other residents
- Bins and rubbish
- Vehicles and parking
- Balconies and courtyards
- Behaviour of invitees and guests
- Storage of goods
Under section 52 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (RTRA Act), any Body Corporate by-laws that apply to the tenant are taken to be included as terms of the general tenancy agreement. Section 69 of the RTRA Act requires the Landlord or Property Manager to provide a copy of the Body Corporate by-laws no later than when the tenant is given their tenancy agreement for signing.
What happens when a by-law is breached?
If a by-law is breached, the Body Corporate can try to resolve the matter informally and directly with the person. However, if that does not resolve the issue, the Body Corporate can then give a contravention notice to the person breaching the by-laws. If that person is the tenant, then the notice is served by the Body Corporate directly to the tenant, and the notice will name the tenant as the person who is breaching the by-laws and not the Landlord or Property Manager.
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