Body corporate disputes

Strata Disputes

Are you dealing with a Body Corporate Disagreement?

Getting a lot of people together to try to run a community without disputes is not just tough, it is near impossible.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a body corporate, from major committee decisions that turn out poorly, levy disputes, defamation and numerous types of by-laws breaches that should not happen in the first place, but for some reason cannot seem to resolve. 

Having experienced body corporate dispute lawyers can help reduce confrontation between residents in a cost-effective manner.

Queensland Litigation

Types of Strata Disputes

Committees, typically the secretary, treasure and chairperson, have a lot of rules and regulations to deal with. It is not uncommon that decisions are made unlawfully, or are unlawful, which can lead to disputes. It is important to have experienced body corporate lawyers to assist.

Residents can experience a range of issues from noise, smell and sight disputes, through parking, defamation from other residents and much more. It is important to resolve these types of disputes in an efficient, effective and considered manner. 

Body corporate managers have a number of duties and responsibilities. They must act in the best interests of the body corporate and not be fraudulent or misleading, amongst other issues. We assist managers and body corporates resolve disputes.

Gibbs Wright have a dedicated team of building and construction dispute lawyers that can assist with all aspects of building and construction disputes, including defective work and breach of contract.

Gibbs Wright have a dedicated team of lawyers that can assist when issues arise with employees or service contractors on site.

Looking to resolve a Body Corporate Dispute?

At Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers, we offer an initial no-cost, obligation-free consultation to help you understand your options. We’re here to fight for you.

We are civil & commercial litigation lawyers

Why choose Gibbs Wright

There are hundreds of law firms in Queensland, but only a handful of them focus solely on litigation, and fewer still have the necessary skill and understanding to deliver commercially viable results for your matter.

At Gibbs Wright, we exclusively practice in litigation and dispute resolution, and as a client of ours, we want you to feel confident that you will receive unparalleled service and dedication for your dispute.

Our firm represents both plaintiffs and defendants across Queensland, in a wide range of litigation and dispute matters, and no case is too small, too large or too complex for our lawyers to take up the fight.

Whether you are an individual or one of Australia’s largest companies, your case deserves the same level of attention and dedication – and that is what we strive to provide to each and every client.

Commercially viable outcomes

High success rate

Brisbane-based Litigation Team

Dedicated litigation firm

Direct contact with your lawyer

Outstanding Client Satisfaction

Outstanding client satisfaction

Brisbane-based litigation team

Proud member of:

We help resolve Body Corporate Disputes

Gibbs Wright act on behalf of lot owners, Body Corporates, managers, letting agents, caretakers and individuals to help in finding cost effective resolutions when body corporate disputes arise.

group, meeting, teamwork, project

Conciliation through OCBCC

contract, agreement, project, management

Applications to QCAT

justice, scale, law, equal

Adjudication through OCBCC

law, hammer, patent, copyright

Proceedings through Court

Body Corporate Disputes

Common Reasons for Body Corporate Disputes

  • Overhanging trees
  • Blocked pipes
  • Owner’s proposal for unit improvements or changes
  • Permission for pets
  • By-law interpretation and enforcement
  • Building management statement disputes
  • Compliance and assistance with procedure
  • Body Corporate disputes
  • Debt levy recovery
  • Construction & building disputes
  • Building deterioration
  • Insurance disputes
  • Resident disputes
  • QCAT lot entitlement adjustments

Body Corporate Questions

Frequently asked questions

In Queensland, the role of a body corporate is to administer common property and body corporate assets for the benefit of all owners, as well as to carry out responsibilities mandated by body corporate legislation. When land is subdivided and registered under the Land Title Act 1994 to establish a community titles scheme, a body corporate is created. All of the owners in a community titles scheme are automatically members of the body corporate when they buy their lot

Identifying the applicable by-law for the activity in question is the first step in enforcing the by-laws. In most cases, a body corporate’s by-laws are found in the Community Management Statement for that body corporate. If the by-laws are not specified in the Community Management Statement, the by-laws will be those set forth in the Body Corporate & Community Management Act.

Yes, if the by-law itself is not invalid. One of the most misconceived notions is that simply because a by-law is registered, it must be enforceable and valid. By-laws are subject to a number of restrictions set out in section 180 of the BCCM Act.  Subsection (7) is the catch-all that has been litigated many times. This subsection requires that the by-law must not be oppressive or unreasonable, having regard to the interest of all owners and occupiers of lots included in the scheme and the use of the common property for the scheme.

The first thing that anyone does with respect to enforcing by-laws should be to make sure that the by-law itself is valid – which means it must not be oppressive or unreasonable.

The body corporate by-laws apply to both tenants and owners. As a tenant, you can take steps to ask the body corporate to enforce the by-laws. For example, if a neighbour is regularly having loud parties, and there is a noise by-law, you can complete a BCCM Form 1 and give it to the body corporate committee asking them to enforce the by-laws.

A by-law cannot discriminate between owners and tenants and a body corporate cannot restrict tenants using common property. However, as a tenant you may need to have approval from both the landlord and the body corporate when you want to make any changes, including to by-laws (for example, having a pet or changing appearance to your lot). There is no reason why a tenant cannot have direct contact with the body corporate committee, and may be worth a tenant requesting the contact details of the body corporate on-site manager if there is one.

The OCBCC is the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management. They provide information and dispute resolution services for people who live, invest or work in body corporate schemes in Queensland.

No. People who are tenants of lots are there because they have a tenancy agreement with the owner of the land. It is not the role of the body corporate to infringe on people’s private property rights.

However, a body corporate can use the by-laws to regulate owners and occupiers.

If your property is physically located in a tower or is part of a gated community the most common answer is no.

It might be conceivable to avoid body corporate levies if you live in a duplex or anything very small, but the first place to look is the local planning limits. The scheme may have been allowed by the local government just because it was strata titled. Leaving a small body corporate typically necessitates dissolution, which can usually only be accomplished with the support of all other owners.

The Committee must have between 3 and 7 voting members for a Scheme with at least 7 lots. The roles of Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer must be filled, albeit the Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer can all be occupied by the same Committee member.

The Scheme must have at least three voting members on the Committee for small schemes with fewer than seven lots. For such schemes, the maximum number of voting members is equal to the number of lots. For a five-lot scheme, for example, the Committee must have at least three but no more than five voting members.

Yes. This is similar to rewarding anyone for performing a thankless task, but it should be done with your own finances rather than the Body Corporate’s.

QCAT stands for the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and is a tribunal, independent of the Queensland Courts, whose purpose is to provide an avenue for the resolution of disputes between parties.


What our clients say

"These guys are fantastic. Extremely fast to respond with invaluable expertise and assistance. They helped resolve my dispute in the most cost effective and timely manner. Billing was extremely reasonable for the service."
Paul Cleveland
"Highly recommend Spencer and his team ..... took what was a very stressful time of my life and made it that much easier to deal with. The best possible advice leading to the best possible outcome for me. Thank you so much !!"
Simone Douglas
"Mitchell and the team at Gibbs Wright helped me out with a family situation....response time was great, no delay. Would recommend 100%."
William James

Our people

Meet our litigation team

Yusuf Furgan
Senior litigation solicitor

Meet Yusuf

Yusuf combines his formidable legal research and problem-solving skills together to resolve employment and commercial disputes.

Rebekka Hallberg
Senior litigation solicitor

Meet Rebekka

Rebekka is dedicated, driven, and an out-of-the-box type thinker, who assists our clients in a wide variety of litigation and IP matters.

Melany Dowse
Special counsel

Meet Melany

Melany represents a range of clients from individuals and small businesses to body corporates and insolvency practitioners.

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