We welcome you to the committee of the body corporate. This may be your first appointment as a committee member or you may have had previous experience, whichever is the case, we are here to help your body corporate run as efficiently as possible. An efficiently run body corporate will make your role as a committee member easier and we have listed some information below that we hope will assist you in your role.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION:
Alpha Strata provides online access to information about your body corporate and your personal details recorded by Alpha Strata as your body corporate manager. The portal gives you access to information about your levies, address etc. In addition current documents such as General and Committee minutes, by-laws, body corporate contracts etc. are available to read or download.
You are encouraged to use the portal which has the latest up to date information. The portal is available via this link. StrataMax login
If you cannot access the portal please contact our office.
To keep the costs down for your body corporate we have used website links for some information. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact our office and we will be only too happy to print the information you require and post it to you.
A useful publication is “The New Layperson’s Guide to Body Corporate Law in Qld“. The publication is available from Strata Communities Australia (Qld) SCA online store.
OVERVIEW OF BODIES CORPORATE:
As a committee member it is important that you have a basic understanding of Bodies Corporate and the applicable legislation. Please refer to the link to the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management for information.
THE ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE:
The Committee will consist of the voting members of the committee, being a minimum of three and a maximum of seven members and the non-voting members being the on-site manager (if applicable) and the Body Corporate Manager. A fact sheet from the Queensland Government called “The role of the committee”.
It is important to know the roles of the committee members.
Body Corporate Manager:
You would have received a copy of our Administrative Agreement with your Annual General Meeting Notice. This agreement details specific duties we perform for your body corporate. In summary, we are engaged by your Body Corporate to provide administration services to your body corporate, such as preparing meeting notices, taking minutes of meetings, issuing levy notices, preparing financial statements etc. Your body corporate agreement is available via the StrataMax login.
On-Site Manager (OSM):
Some bodies corporate may have entered into Caretaking and Letting Agreements with a person/s or company. Typically these agreements are referred to as Management Rights. The holder of the Management Rights, the OSM, will normally also own a unit in the building and reside in the unit. The Caretaking and Letting Agreements vary from body corporate to body corporate and as a committee member you should be familiar with these agreements, as it is the duty of the committee to ensure that the OSM conforms to the requirements of the Agreements. Should your Body Corporate have Management Rights, a copy of the agreements can be obtained from StrataMax login.
The Caretaking Agreement will specify the caretaking duties of the common property that the OSM must perform for the remuneration paid. The Letting Agreement is an authorisation for the OSM to have the sole right to operate a letting business on-site. There is no requirement under the Letting Agreement that owners must use the services of the OSM.
CODES OF CONDUCT
The committee voting members, body corporate manager, caretaking service contractors and letting agents all have to abide by codes of conduct that are set out in the Body Corporate and Community Management Act. Refer to the link for copies of the codes of conduct.
The committee of the body corporate must appoint a person to be the liaison to the body corporate manager and OSM. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same person, but ideally it is. This is a requirement of the agreements entered into by the body corporate with those parties. In most cases the chairperson of the body corporate fulfils this role. However, this is a decision of the committee and should be recorded in the minutes of a body corporate meeting.
COMMUNICATING BETWEEN PARTIES
For efficiency and cost effectiveness, the e-mail system is generally the form of communication between the committee and the Body Corporate Manager. If email is not available for committee members, correspondence will be posted. For various reasons, we will forward correspondence to the committee and request the liaison person advise our office of the committee’s majority decision. We do not require or recommend that each committee member include our office in their response. If you are responding to emails, and want to correspond with other committee members, and use the “respond to all”, please delete our address as we only require the majority decision of the committee and not the discussion had by your committee in determining your decision. Your liaison person may choose to provide the committee discussion when they respond to our office with the committee decision.
PREPARATION FOR COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Committee Members will receive a notice of a committee meeting, which will include an agenda for the meeting at least seven days prior to the meeting date. It is important that committee members properly prepare themselves for the committee meeting. This may involve making investigations in conjunction with other committee members to ensure an understanding of the matters that will be voted upon at the meeting. Meetings are likely to be longer in duration if this preparation is not undertaken by all committee members. It is essential to take the meeting notice with all supporting documentation to the meeting and perhaps your own file of correspondence since the last meeting.
As you do with other professionals with whom you deal e.g. Accountants, Solicitors etc., it would be appreciated if you would give your body corporate manager the courtesy of phoning our office to make an appointment to see them when that need may arise. This will ensure that they are in the office and not out at a meeting and that they have the time to fully attend to your needs.
The By-Laws of your Body Corporate can be viewed on the StrataMax website. If your Body Corporate has adopted a Community Management Statement, refer to Schedule 3, which will contain the by-laws. The committee is responsible for the enforcement of the by-laws and therefore it is important that you have an understanding of the by-laws applicable to your Body Corporate.
To maintain transparent and accountable financial processes, the following procedures should be adopted by the committee:
a) The committee should determine a policy for the approval of invoices prior to the payment being made. This may involve certification of the invoice by the OSM (if applicable.) and/or one or two committee members signing the invoice as authorised to pay. Our office recommends the use of the online approval system for invoices. Refer to the link for information on the online approval system.
b) The committee should regularly review the financial statements of the body corporate including the transaction list and compare expenditure against the budget adopted at the annual general meeting. The financial records can be obtained from the StrataMax website or alternatively contact our office for a copy of the Body Corporate’s financial statements.
There will be a number of day to day issues that your committee will be required to administer. To make this process efficient and expeditious your committee should consider adopting policies if they are not already in place. Such policies may include:-
Our office is able to assist your committee in drafting such policies should that be required.
We trust that this document has provided you with the basic understanding of your role and responsibilities as a committee member. Always remember that you can contact our office for advice should the need arise.