Lot entitlements – Who are the correct parties to an application?

The issue of lot entitlement adjustments remains continually in the press.

The state government has put out a discussion paper on the issue. They are seemingly looking for responses from the community. It is unlikely that this issue will progress in the near future following the state election being called.

While the legal principles surrounding the actual adjustment of lot entitlements have not changed, there has been a recent decision that clarifies who the parties to any matter must be in an application to the CCT.

The decision of the CCT in Northbridge has clarified that the only parties to an application must be the owner as applicant and the body corporate. There is no right in an application to the CCT for other parties to join the proceedings once they have commenced.

This potentially disenfranchises owners who are not a party to CCT proceedings, as they cannot be represented or heard. If there are disenfranchised owners, they should be encouraged to make submissions to the body corporate which should then consider those in its response.

A lot entitlement adjustment application can also be heard by a specialist adjudicator with the consent of the applicant and the body corporate. In this situation other owners can elect to become a party to the application. This is different to the position with respect to the CCT.

The choice of jurisdictions is made at the start of the matter. The applicant can make the application in the CCT without the consent of the body corporate, but will need the body corporate’s consent to take the matter to specialist adjudication. The consent is almost always refused, partly because the CCT takes longer to resolve matters which means the implementation of the new entitlements will be delayed.

This will remain a continually evolving area of the law, especially in Queensland.

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