25 Feb Adjudicators Order – Obstruction Of Common Property -Breach of By-Laws

Adjudicators Order: Obstruction Of Common Property -Breach of By-Laws

Before we look at this months Adjudicators Order, lets take a step back and go back to basics.

Each strata complex registered in Queensland will have a Community Management Statement (commonly referred to as a CMS). Within this CMS, the following “Schedules” will be included:

  • Schedule A – Schedule of Lot Entitlements
  • Schedule B – Explanation of the Development of Scheme Land
  • Schedule C – By-Laws
  • Schedule D – Other details Required / Permitted to be Included
  • Schedule E – Description of Lots Allocated Exclusive Use Areas of Common Property

For the purposes of this article, we are interested in Schedule C – By Laws.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “by-law” as a “regulation made by a local authority or corporation or a rule made by a company or society to control the actions of its members”. By-Laws in a Strata complex are in place to govern the actions of all owners, occupants and visitors and to ensure that the peaceful enjoyment of other owners and occupants lawfully using their lot and the common property is not affected.

Two by-laws in particular that will appear in the by laws states:

Obstruction

The occupier of a lot must not obstruct the lawful use of the common property by someone else

Leaving of Rubbish etc. on common property

The occupier of a lot must not leave rubbish or other materials on the common property in a way or place likely to interfere with the enjoyment of the common property by someone else.

Now – back to our Adjudicators Order…..

This month, the Adjudicators Order centres around the above by law. It was reported by the Body Corporate that one of the owners was storing large pieces of Gym Equipment in an area that was referred to as the bin area and despite numerous requests for the items to be removed the owner either did not remove the items, or removed them only to place them back after a time.

It was noted in the application to the Commissioners Office that the items left in the bin area were taking up almost all of the bin area and obstructs access to the area making it not only unusable but also made the area unsightly.

During the process of the application and order being made, the owner of the lot storing the items on the Common Property advised that the items had been removed, however on contacting the Committee, the Adjudicator found that the dispute was not in fact resolved and the items were placed back onto the Common Property, once again in breach of the by laws.

As a result of the above investigations by the Adjudicator, it was found that they were satisfied that the owner was in breach of the by laws and made a ruling not only that the equipment be removed from the common property, but due to a lack of confidence that the owner would keep the equipment off the common property, also made a ruling that the equipment not be stored anywhere on the common property in future without the prior written consent of the Body Corporate.

The full order can be read – http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/qld/QBCCMCmr/2020/20.html

And more information can be obtained by visiting the Commissioners Office Website –https://www.qld.gov.au/law/housing-and-neighbours/body-corporate/bccm