QLD_CM_LARGEAPARTMENTS_31MARCH
QLD_CM_LARGEAPARTMENTS_31MARCH

Myth about units and owning a pet

PETS are the number one gripe for unit owners with thousands of phone calls from angry tenants to the state's body corporate hotline last year.

In the last financial year, the state government run Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) handled 17,751 inquires or about 70 per business day.

Topping the list of disputes was animals, ahead of maintenance and owner improvements while parking complaints came in fifth.

BCCM commissioner Chris Irons said the statutory body provides information as well dispute resolution and their decisions were binding.

Body Corporate and Community Management Chris Irons says statutory authority’s inquiry line received more than 17,000 calls last financial year. Picture: John Gass
Body Corporate and Community Management Chris Irons says statutory authority’s inquiry line received more than 17,000 calls last financial year. Picture: John Gass

He said that practically the only dispute the BCCM did not deal with was contractual disagreements which were decided by Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT.

"Pretty much every body corporate dispute in Queensland, bar for a small exemption, will come to my office to be resolved," Mr Irons said.

He said their service was not only available to owners and tenants but prospective owners and tenants.

"The aim is to help people help themselves," Mr Irons said.

He said one myth within a strata-title complex was that animals had to be under 10kg and disputes arose when owners were stopped from keeping a pet.

"There's the outright refusal of pets and unreasonable conditions placed on pet owners and they are the two main sources for disputes," Mr Irons said.

"Body Corporates can outright refuse but if they come to this office and challenge that, then more often than not it will be overturned."

 

 

To make matters easier for tenants and owners, Mr Irons wrote a quarterly newsletter Common Ground and the February edition was entirely dedicated to pet disputes

Surprisingly, despite the number of registered body corporates across Queensland rising from 43,242 in June 2014 to 49,319 in June 2019 the number of disputes have declined.

In 2014, the hotline received 18,680 calls but that did not mean there was less work for the BCCM.

Apartment owner's biggest complaints relate to pets but more often than not the owner will be allowed to keep them. Pic: Darren Cartwright
Apartment owner's biggest complaints relate to pets but more often than not the owner will be allowed to keep them. Pic: Darren Cartwright

Mr Irons said the BCCM had, over the years, enhanced its information products including introduction of webinars, targeted fact sheets and seminars.

"The actually number of calls has gone down but the complexity and the time on each of those has gone up," Mr Irons said.

"There is no such thing as a simple inquiry."

While pets topped the list of disputes, number one on the list of general inquiries was maintenance and improvements, followed by committees and general meetings.

Every lot owner within a complex is effect on the body corporate even though they weren't on a committee, but that hasn't stopped people wanting to disassociate themselves from being part of the strata title.

"We get people contacting us who own apartments saying they no longer want to be part of the body corporate anymore and can I just step out of it and that happens almost daily," he said.

"If you own an apartment you are on the body corporate."



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