This article is about body corporate manager complaints in Queensland.
Table of Contents:
- QUESTION: What is a reasonable timeframe for a Body Corporate Manager to respond to an email?
- QUESTION: As a secretary on our Committee, should the strata manager be copying all committee members into a private email correspondence?
- QUESTION: Is the Body Corporate Manager under any obligation to offer advice on what is the law and what is not when the matter is discussed at a committee meeting?
- QUESTION: Who can I contact in Queensland regarding complaints about the services of our body corporate managers?
Question: What is a reasonable timeframe for a Body Corporate Manager to respond to an email?
What is a reasonable timeframe for a Body Corporate Manager to respond to an email? It has been 2 weeks since I contacted them for an update on our 2020 AGM with no acknowledgment. It has been a week since the Body Corporate Secretary/Treasurer emailed them for the same thing.
Answer: This is a matter for each scheme and managing agency to determine when looking at service standards as part of your agreement.
Other than where there is a statutory requirement, such as to issue minutes, there is no fixed period fixed in the legislation by which body corporate managers must provide information. Rather, this is a matter for each scheme and managing agency to determine when looking at service standards as part of your agreement.
Those service standards can vary and be affected by numerous factors, but as a general rule of thumb routine questions shouldn’t take more than 2-3 days to receive a response of some kind. However, that response may be relatively neutral if the body corporate manager can’t provide a direct answer themselves.
If you are unhappy with the service standards you are receiving then the next step is probably to refer the matter to the appropriate manager of the company. If you don’t get a satisfactory response, you may need to look at nominating an alternative management agency when the time comes.
This post appears in Strata News #520.
Question: As a secretary on our Committee, should the strata manager be copying all committee members into a private email correspondence?
I’m a secretary and a committee member.
I emailed my Strata Manager a general question about who can authorise outstanding invoices via a software app we use. The Strata Manager sent a link to Read through which was fine, however, he also chose to include other committee members into my email to which was only addressed to him.
Why did he include these other members? Is he allowed to do this? I understand all strata records are public records if owners ask for the communication and records however were his actions out of line or illegal even?
Answer: If an individual or committee has specific instructions for the strata manager they should make those clear so that the expectation can be met.
Each body corporate scheme has to work with its manager to determine how it wants to communicate. It is not always an easy balance to achieve and missteps will happen from time to time. If an individual or committee has specific instructions for the manager they should make those clear so that the expectation can be met.
In this case, it is difficult to see what the issue is with the body corporate manager cc’ing in the other members of the committee unless you have specifically requested that not happen. Presumably, the other committee members already had your email address so that is not a secret and the information in your request and the response doesn’t seem personal in anyway. The manager probably thinks they were being helpful in sending the information to the whole committee and likely wants to be seen as transparent and efficient – this doesn’t seem like a bad thing.
The fact that you are asking the question hints at some other level of mistrust either with the body corporate manager or the other committee members and you may want to consider why that is and how that can be changed rather than focusing what seems like a fairly routine correspondence intended to assist the committee.
This post appears in Strata News #506.
Question: Is the Body Corporate Manager under any obligation to offer advice on what is the law and what is not when the matter is discussed at a committee meeting?
Answer: The Code of Conduct for body corporate managers states that they must have a good working knowledge and understanding of the Body Corporate Act relevant to their functions.
For the most part, body corporate managers aren’t qualified lawyers so they can’t offer specific legal advice. However, the Code of Conduct for body corporate managers states that they must have a good working knowledge and understanding of the Body Corporate Act relevant to their functions. As such they should be able to provide advice on the Act at committee meetings if asked to do so.
The question asks if there is an obligation to provide advice of this nature. There is no obligation as such, but also included in the Code of Conduct is a provision that states that they must act in the body corporates best interests unless it is unlawful to do so. If a committee is going down a wayward path, you would expect a responsible body corporate manager to provide some advice at that point.
This post appears in Strata News #477.
Question: Who can I contact in Queensland regarding complaints about the services of our body corporate managers? Is there a Qld body corporate ombudsman?
Can you please advise me who I can contact regarding complaints about our body corporate managers in Queensland? Is there such a thing as a Qld body corporate ombudsman?
I am highly annoyed by the way our body corporate managers conduct business. I feel we are paying them for nothing, as their services are non-existent.
Answer: The committee might like to take the complaints up with the body corporate manager directly and give them a chance to respond.
I do think it is important to first ask yourself first if your complaint is realistic. What is it that you are not happy about? It may well be that that isn’t part of their contracted duties anyway, so there’s no point complaining that they aren’t doing it.
Different managers have different contractual arrangements and just because you think the manager should be doing something, doesn’t mean they are meant to be. Moreover, the thing that you are not happy with may well be something that is perfectly in line with the legislation and the manager is just doing their job. In other words, before you do anything else, stop and try to be very specific about what it is that is bothering you.
After that, you need to remember that the manager is contracted by the body corporate and that relationship is managed by the committee. A manager is generally not answerable to individual owners. So, you’d need to raise your concerns with the committee. The manager might be under specific instructions from the committee about how they perform their role.
The committee might like to take the complaints up with the manager directly and give them a chance to respond. It may well be something that can be easily resolved thereafter.
Body corporate managers in Queensland are not licensed and there is not an Ombudsman for them. If you’ve exhausted all the steps above and the manager is a member of the Strata Community Association, then you can potentially lodge a complaint with the organisation. I stress, however, that in order to do that, you will need to show that you’ve attempted to resolve the matter yourself in the first place, i.e., by the steps noted above.
This post appears in Strata News #460.
Have a question about body corporate manager complaints in Queensland or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- QLD: Q&A What Power Does a Subcommittee Have to Make Decisions?
- QLD: Q&A Body corporate voting rules – What you can and can’t do
- QLD: Q&A AGMs, Motions in Strata and the Obligation to Act
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