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Body Corporate - Some short and sharp ones to start the year…

By Frank Higginson23 Jan 2013

We will start this year on a lighter note from a topic perspective.  Rest assured we are involved in quite a few interesting matters at the moment, that once decided, will be newsletters all of their own.

Until then (and as everyone grinds in second – and perhaps third - gear into 2013), we will be short and sharp.

Is $0.01 a body corporate debt?

Yes.  Click here for the Fairthorpe decision.

An owner’s vote was denied by a returning officer when the levy arrears were a single cent. In a very short and sharp decision the adjudicator opined:

‘It seems harsh for someone to be deprived of their vote just because they unwittingly underpaid their levies by a tiny amount. However, there is no discretion for a returning officer or an adjudicator to allow a vote to be counted when a body corporate debt is owing.’

Moral of this story - Owners should round up (and not down) if they want to pay a neat levy amount.

Tenants accessing body corporate records

A tenant is not automatically entitled to access body corporate records. They can only do that if they are an interested person ‘who satisfies the body corporate of a proper interest in the information sought.’

With any request for information the tenant needs to make clear the basis for why it is sought.  If that doesn’t happen, the body corporate can legitimately say no.

Moral of the story – if they are not an owner ask why they need the records.

The Privacy Act and bodies corporate

The same decision confirms that the Privacy Act does not apply to bodies corporate.  What is on the roll is available to all owners (and ‘interested parties’).  In this matter the roll would have been available to the tenant had he convinced the adjudicator that he was entitled to access the information. 

Click here for the decision.

Choosing the right game of chance

When votes are equal for contested committee positions the member to be elected is chosen by a game of chance.  That game of chance is not prescribed, but we have seen coin tosses, names out of a hat and straws drawn.  We are yet to see ‘rock scissors, paper’, but it no doubt has been done that way.

If you are going to decide on a game of chance, you need to try to pick one with odds in your favour.  Click here  for the one way to assure the odds are in your favour.

Moral of this story – don’t toss the coin, and don’t call until you see which way it is facing. Perhaps that is also one for Michael Clarke (or any other cricket captain).  We might end up having coin tosses to decide who tosses the coin?

Anyways - all the best for 2013.