What is a body corporate?
A body corporate is a legal entity that is created when land is subdivided and a community management statement is registered to establish a community title scheme. Every lot owner is a member of the body corporate.
Units, townhouses and gated communities are examples of a community title scheme. A community title scheme can be used for residential, commercial and mixed-use purposes.
A body corporate committee is elected to make important decisions about the scheme, including managing finances and common property, in accordance with the body corporate.
The body corporate manager is engaged to support the body corporate properly operating its financial and administrative requirements.
What laws govern bodies corporate?
Body Corporate and Community Management Act
Most community titles schemes are governed by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act (BCCMA).
The BCCMA is supported by five regulation modules that exist to meet the needs of different types of community titles schemes:
- Small Scheme; and
- Specified Two Lot.
The regulation modules set out rules relating to committees, general meetings, financial and property management and insurance.
BUGTA and other legislation
Some bodies corporate were excluded from the BCCMA and continue to be regulated by the Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980 (BUGTA) and other legislation – including the Integrated Resort Development Act 1987; Sanctuary Cove Resort Act 1985 and South Bank Corporation Act 1989.
Who we act for?
Our clients in this industry include:
- Bodies corporate
- Strata managers
- Lot owners
- Resident managers
- Property developers
"Mahoneys has set an exemplary standard in the Strata industry. Their commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability is truly commendable." (Strata Community Association Queensland - November 2023)
How we help our clients
Our dedicated body corporate team is made up of industry leading lawyers with experience in providing body corporate advice, transaction support and dispute resolution services.
Key services we provide to our body corporate clients include:
• reviewing, negotiating and documenting management rights agreements, remuneration reviews, assignment and variations;
• reviewing, amending and documenting community management statements (CMS) and building management statements (BMS);
• reviewing, negotiating and documenting common property amalgamations, subdivisions, leases, licenses and sales;
• advising on general body corporate matters, including: debt and levy recovery, lot entitlement issues, by law reviews and enforcement, legal and regulatory compliance, planning and environment matters, procedural and governance issues, noise and other community living issues, employment and workplace relations, general BCCMA and BUGTA advice;
• advising on body corporate building defects, including: the legal obligation to consider a building defect review, what documents the developer / builder should hand over, the body corporate’s rights and obligations, lodging claims against the builder and with the QBCC;
• advising on body corporate disputes and disagreements, including: caretaker performance, commissioner’s office disputes, defamation in bodies corporate;
• preparing community title schemes for sale to developers;
• being appointed administrator to distressed bodies corporates;
Supporting the industry
Mahoneys are active members of the Strata Community Association of Queensland (SCA) and regularly present at SCA, Australian Building Management Accreditation and other industry events.
We regularly share our knowledge and experience with industry stakeholders through newsletters, published articles, webinars and in-house body corporate manager training.
Mahoneys was named “Law Firm of the Year” at the 2023 Strata Community Association (Qld) awards.
The “Strata Services Business Legal Firms Award” acknowledged firms who delivered exceptional client services; relationships built on identifying and meeting expectations; and a seamless client experience with an unwavering commitment to providing a high level of services (including cost, quality of legal advice and added value to everyone).
“Mahoneys has set an exemplary standard in the Strata industry. Their commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability is truly commendable. They’ve not only met but exceeded all judging criteria, making them a standout choice for this prestigious award. Mahoneys – A leader in Strata legal services, paving the way for a brighter and more efficient future.” (Strata Community Association Queensland).