Owners may be aware that the body corporate is required to have at least three (3) individuals making up a Committee and can have up to seven (7) individuals on the Committee, depending on the size of the scheme.
It is important for Committee members to act “reasonably” in the execution of their duties as Committee members and to engage with each other, find consensus and make decisions generally for the benefit of all owners.
That said, from time to time, owners may be presented with a situation in which one Committee member acts alone and purports to resolve a matter as “the body corporate” without the involvement of other Committee members or where there is no valid Committee at that time for the body corporate.
In Dolphin 1  QBCCMCmr 351 (29 June 2006), an Adjudicator was asked to consider the validity of a resolution by which “the Committee” denied a tenant’s right to access an Austar service linked to a satellite dish on site.
In that case, the tenant sought approval from his landlord and then requested the Committee for the Dolphin 1 scheme to provide the body corporate’s consent to access Austar for that tenant’s applicable lot.
The scheme Chairman, the only Committee member to vote on the motion, voted “no” to the tenant’s application and then wrote to the tenant’s rental agency advising that “the motion failed to obtain the necessary support and was “lost”.
The Adjudicator was scathing in their review of decisions taken by the Chairperson, noting:
“I am further concerned at the disingenuous statement in the Chair’s e-mail to the rental agency of 13 February 2006 that “the motion failed to obtain the necessary support and was ‘lost’”.
I do not consider one nay vote and four failures to vote as indicating one way or another support for the motion.
The truth is that the Chair alone decided he did not wish to give permission to the applicant and then communicated that position to the rental agency as if it were the decision of the Body Corporate.
I consider this action to be an abuse of the Committee process.
While section 100(1) of the Act does permit the Committee to take action on behalf of the Body Corporate, the Committee is a collegiate body.”
“A single Committee member cannot exercise the authority of the Committee.”
“I also consider that the Chair’s unilateral actions as a Committee Member to be a legitimate issue of concern for the Body Corporate. For this reason, I have decided to bring his actions to the attention of the Body Corporate members. Accordingly, I order that a copy of this decision be provided to each lot owner in Dolphin 1”
Thus it would appear a Committee of one is not a valid Committee.
The full order can be read here.
More information on the Committee;s Role can also be obtained on the Commissioners Office website.
It is important to note that the adjudicators orders that we review each month are made on a case by case basis by the commissioners office based on the applications, submissions, by laws pertaining to each of the schemes, legislation that is applicable and are not a fit all order.