body corperate

Body corporate disputes

There are many laws and regulations that govern strata living. In a body corporate arrangement, where people’s homes are close together and where facilities are shared, there are special obligations in areas such as behaviour and finance.

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As a result, strata disputes (which can involve many parties) are frequent and varied, and can stem from issues such as decision-making by committees, levies, defamation and by-law breaches.

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In any body corporate dispute, you want to ensure that your rights are protected, no matter what your interests are.

Without proper advice, disputes can be time-consuming, stressful and costly. This is where Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers can help. We deal with all types of body corporate disputes, big and small, across Queensland. We have experienced body corporate lawyers who can deal with your dispute promptly and tailor a solution to your unique circumstances.

Types of body corporate disputes we can help you with

Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers can help both individuals and businesses throughout Queensland with body corporate disputes. These disputes include:

Committee disputes

Body corporate committees (typically the chairperson, secretary, and treasurer, but may include more members) have many rules and regulations to follow and can potentially make unlawful decisions (whether that is intentional or unintentional).

Such decisions may relate to, for instance:

  • levies and spending limits;
  • timing and manner of notices to owners; and/or
  • types of resolutions required.

Resident disputes

Disputes between residents can arise for many reasons, including:

  • by-law breaches — such as excessive noise, rubbish dumping, or illegal parking;
  • defamation — where residents make defamatory statements about each other; and/or
  • responsibility for damage to common property.

Management disputes

Body corporate managers are paid by property owners to manage a strata setting and must act in the best interests of the body corporate.

Disputes can arise in situations such as where there is:

  • non-payment of levies by owners; and/or
  • misuse of the body corporate’s sinking fund by managers.

Building maintenance disputes

Strata complexes usually require regular maintenance, and such disputes may relate to, for example:

  • the type and extent of maintenance work required;
  • who will carry out the work; and
  • the expected costs and who will pay.

Common body corporate disputes

Disputes can occur between a range of parties, such as between owners and other owners, owners and tenants, owners and letting agents, owners and body corporate committees, tenants and other tenants, and letting agents and body corporate managers.

Common disputes involve:

  • overgrown trees;
  • blocked plumbing;
  • permission for pets;
  • proposals for unit improvements or changes;
  • by-law enforcement;
  • recovery of levies;
  • building maintenance; and
  • insurance.

Who we can help, and where

Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers handle body corporate disputes for a range of parties, including individual owners, letting agents, and property managers.

Resolution could involve processes such as mediation, conciliation or adjudication through the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, or a hearing at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

We have extensive experience in body corporate matters in Queensland, with an office conveniently located in Brisbane, however our services are available Australia-wide.

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Body corporate specialists

Meet your property dispute specialists

Melany Dowse

SENIOR LITIGATION SOLICITOR

Rebekka Hallberg

Mitchell Caldwell

Litigation solicitor

Mitchell Caldwell

Special CounSEL

Melany Dowse

Why choose Gibbs Wright

Few law firms specialise in litigation, and fewer still have the skill and understanding needed to litigate body corporate disputes. At Gibbs Wright, we practise exclusively in litigation and dispute resolution, and we want our clients to feel confident they will receive unparalleled service and dedication.

Our firm represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of litigation and dispute matters. No case is too small, big or complex for our lawyers. Each and every client receives the same level of attention and dedication, whether they are an individual or one of the nation’s biggest companies.

When it comes to body corporate matters, Gibbs Wright can help take the stress, emotion and cost out of your dispute.

frequently asked questions

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a body corporate and what is its role?

When land is subdivided and registered under legislation to establish a community titles scheme, a body corporate is created. All of the owners in a community title scheme automatically become members of the body corporate when they buy their lot.

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.

Do I have to engage a lawyer if I’m involved in a body corporate dispute?

A lawyer is not necessarily required to resolve a body corporate dispute, but such a dispute can often involve significant amounts of money, multiple parties and complex law. As such, having an experienced lawyer in your corner providing you with practical advice can help achieve a resolution more quickly, and with a minimum of stress and cost.

What can a body corporate lawyer do?

A body corporate lawyer can provide advice on things such as:
• statutory obligations;
• body corporate levy recovery;
• building management statements;
• by-law enforcement;
• building maintenance procedures;
• assignments of management rights; and/or
• committee conduct.

Will I need to go to court for my body corporate dispute?

Court proceedings can be costly, time-consuming and stressful, so our lawyers at Gibbs Wright will always attempt to negotiate a resolution before recommending your matter be litigated in a court.

If your matter cannot be resolved in court, our body corporate law team will be able to help you navigate through this.

What is the Gibbs Wright process?

At Gibbs Wright, we work closely with you to determine the best plan for your circumstances, taking into account your finances and expectations.

We will walk you through the steps of the journey, which begins with a free initial discussion to assess the strength of your case and your possible legal options.

We will request key documents such as a contract, community management statement or emails to assess your case. If we determine that we can help you, we will provide an estimate of fees, dependent on the expected cost and complexity of the matter. If you agree with our proposed strategy, we will vigorously pursue or defend your claim on your behalf.

Where can we help you?

We are a Brisbane, Queensland-based law firm, however, our services are available to clients Australia-wide. So, if you’re looking for a body corporate dispute lawyer, well-versed in property and body corporate legislation, call us today to let us handle your matter.

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