Promoting and protecting the rights and lifestyles
of unit-owners in Queensland since 1978
A recent Adjudication Decision[i] highlights a systemic problem in Queensland’s Strata World i.e. the absence of regulatory oversight of Body Corporate Managers (BCM).
The reported conduct covers both professional competence and integrity. It also covers conduct as both a Body Corporate Manager and as the Authorised Representative of the largest strata insurer[iv]>> in Australia.
Everyone is entitled to draw their own conclusions about the implications of this decision. The feedback we’ve received from those who have a professional interest in strata matters is that it contains probably the harshest comments they’ve yet seen about a BCM.
At the micro level, what the owners at this particular complex do with this decision is really their call. This is inherent in the self-management model favoured in Queensland, and which is recognised in the order given by the Adjudicator that “the Body Corporate … is authorised to reconsider the subject matter of Motion 5 and 6 at a general meeting.”[v]>>
At the macro level, there are broader issues in play. Without leaping to any conclusions about the BCM’s overall conduct, it would be reasonable for anyone to ask:
1. >What about the BCM’s other clients…do they know about this decision?>
2. >What about other complexes in the Sunshine Coast precinct who may be looking for a new BCM…how do they find out about this decision?>
3. >Is there any regulatory agency, like the Body Corporate Commissioner’s Office or even Strata Community Australia (SCA)[vi]>>, which can investigate and apply appropriate sanctions if necessary?>
The answers, all in the negative, provide little comfort.
In Queensland, Body Corporate Managers are pretty much free agents. Anyone can start a business as a BCM, regardless of paucity of formal qualifications or relevant experience. All you need is unsuspecting unit owners with big bags of body corporate funds.
It has been many years since our StrataWorld morphed out of what was once a quaint little cottage industry. There are huge amounts of money involved now, and it continues to grow at an ever accelerating rate…and right at the heart of it are the BCMs. They are key players, and mostly offer a professional and valuable service.