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Business

25 February, 2021

Navigating nosy neighbours and body corporate conflicts

As the Queensland property market continues to boom, many are making the move into high density dwellings for the first time and strata professionals warn it is wise for new residents to understand the rules and roles of the strata scheme to avoid issues and make the best of their new home.


As the Queensland property market continues to boom, many are making the move into high density dwellings for the first time and strata professionals warn it is wise for new residents to understand the rules and roles of the strata scheme to avoid issues and make the best of their new home.

Nicky Lonergan, CEO at Archers the Strata Professionals, says the increasing prices of stand-alone residential houses and government grants for new home buyers have contributed to the decisions made by many Queenslanders to move into strata buildings, and living in strata properties can be a very different experience for those used to living in private residences.

“Strata living comes with rules and obligations which can lead to friction between neighbours if newcomers are unaware or have common misconceptions about strata living including needing permission to have pets, parking in visitor car parks, smoking within residences, carrying out certain renovations, or hosting noisy parties.

“If you are new to strata living and unknowingly break these rules, you can be sure a vocal neighbour will let you know. To save conflict we encourage new residents to get to know their committee and understand what responsibilities the support managers provide,” said Mrs Lonergan.

Stephen McCulloch, the Cairns Partner at Archers the Strata Professionals said that effective management of a strata building is the responsibility of a group of owners, volunteering as a committee who are supported by a body corporate manager to provide administrative, financial, and secretarial support. For some buildings there may also be a property manager employed to tend to the maintenance of the building and manage onsite duties.

“There are common misconceptions that a body corporate manager is the same as a property manager and can make the final decisions relevant to the building; both of which are incorrect. A body corporate manager’s role is to bring complete peace of mind to owners and occupiers by fulfilling tasks at a whole of building level such as holding meetings, preparing detailed budgets, paying invoices, and arranging strata insurance. As professionals skilled in body corporate legislation, we take the responsibility of navigating committees through their obligations very seriously,” Mr McCulloch shared.

“The objective of these three groups - committee, body corporate managers and property managers - is to work in concert to ensure a compliant scheme that is well maintained and creates a harmonious place to live.

“When a resident of a strata managed building has a request or an issue to resolve they need to consult their strata scheme representatives to identify the process to submit the request or report the issue. There can be issues when the wrong process is followed, for example a tenant asks their landlord or property manager for permission to have a dog but the overall strata rules state they cannot have pets. Without knowing, understanding or following the protocols can instigate community or neighbourly conflicts that could have been avoided.

“We actively encourage healthy relationships across all roles within a strata community, but this ultimately comes down to each person taking responsibility for the role they play in building harmony, including newcomers that may find strata living an adjustment initially,” Mr McCulloch said.

Archers are the founding partner of SmartStrata, an educational company designed to provide free information to owners and committee members alike.


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