A Qld lot owner is asking about unauthorised entry into a lot. Chris Irons, Hynes Legal provides the following response.
Question: Our apartment building is one unit per floor with internal access via a lift with a security fob. The Chairperson hands master keys to tradespeople and his wife for unsupervised access without notice. How do we stop unauthorised entry to our lot?
Our apartment building is one unit per floor with internal access via a lift with security fob.
In January 2020 the body corporate had all fobs recoded (including cancelling excess fobs) and new front door keys were also cut due to previous complaints.
The Chairperson is in possession of master fobs and master keys. His wife and himself use these for their convenience and hand them to the cleaners and tradespeople for work in other units and communal areas, often leaving these tradespeople unattended. We have voiced our concerns numerous times.
Since the recent upgrade we have had tradespeople and the Chairperson’s wife and dog enter our apartment. Other than to keep complaining, what can we do? We have no idea who else has entered when we aren’t there.
We are going to install security cameras. This will only give us evidence of access, but won’t it to stop the behaviour. We find this quite distressing.
Answer: The body corporate or its authorised representative does have the power to enter your lot and doesn’t necessarily need your approval for that to occur.
Have you been given notices of the entry? The body corporate or its authorised representative does have the power to enter your lot and doesn’t necessarily need your approval for that to occur. Although I can’t imagine any circumstances where the chairperson’s wife’s dog needs to be there.
When you’ve raised your concerns about the above, what response have you gotten? I’m also curious to know how you know these people have been in your lot.
Putting the above to one side, I’d suggest your first step is a written letter to the committee reminding them that they can only enter your lot with appropriate notice (or without notice only in an emergency). Refer to section 163 of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997. You might also want to submit a motion to seek approval to have your locks changed. Failing both of the above then you may wish to consider seeking dispute resolution through the Commissioner’s Office.
If you’re alleging people are entering your lot without any approval or right to be there, that may be a Police matter (e.g., trespass).
This post appears in Strata News #411.
Have a question about unauthorised entry into a lot or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
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