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5 Most Common Invalid By-Laws (QLD)

We see thousands of by-laws every year. Our personal favourite is a by-law requiring the body corporate to keep a rope in the pool so that if a koala falls in, the koala can climb back out. We don’t see how that by-law can ever be enforced, especially by the koala it is there to protect!

On a more practical note, the examples below are some of the most common by-laws we see that are unnecessary or unlawful are along these lines:-

By-law Issue
An Occupier must not create noise at any time likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of a person lawfully on another Lot or the Common Property.


Occupiers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their Invitees abide by the by-laws and do not behave in a manner likely to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of a person lawfully on another Lot or the Common Property.

The legislative standard is not ‘likely to interfere’ – the standard is not to ‘unreasonably interfere.’


All noise will be likely to interfere with someone else’s use and enjoyment of their lot – such as hearing a television during the middle of the day or the odd door slamming.

The standard required by this by-law is simply not enforceable based on the standards set out by the legislation.

An Owner or Occupier may not keep an animal in their lot or the Common Property. By-laws that are prohibitory in nature are unlawful. An absolute ban on anything is simply not enforceable. Any building with this by-law has no rights with respect to the keeping of pets, or at best, it is read down to allowing pets with committee consent.

A conditional by-law is acceptable, but the question is then the reasonableness of the conditions.

The Committee may require a bond of up to $300 from an Owner or Occupier before they move into or out of a Lot. A by-law cannot impose a monetary penalty or payment. That is what this is. If damage is done to common property during a move the remedy for that is action afterwards. A body corporate cannot impose a security requirement for any potential damage.
The committee may set policies or procedures from time to time about the governance of the scheme This is a house rule and it is completely unlawful.


Any rule that is to be enforceable must go through the by-law approval process set out in the legislation. The committee cannot be given powers to circumvent the legislation.

Where the Committee or the Body Corporate spends money to repair damage caused by a breach of the Act or of these by-laws by any Occupier or Invitee then the Body Corporate is entitled to recover the amount spent as a debt in any court action from the Owner of the Lot from which that Occupier or Invitee came. A by-law cannot impose a monetary penalty or payment. That is what this is and it is invalid.


The body corporate may have rights under the Act to recover costs, but cannot do so through the by-laws.


If your scheme has these any of these by-laws, then perhaps you should consider having them reviewed. Click here to submit your CMS so we can provide a free review for any obvious issues and give you a proposal to have your by-laws updated.


This article was contributed by Hynes Legal.

Leave a Reply

  1. Jon

    Our care taking agreement allows for being contactable in cases of emergency. However we have no requirement to work after hours or at weekends. Recently we blocked a resident from calling our mobile due to harassment. Do we need to be contactable for everyone or just the committee representative?

  2. Frank Higginson

    A caretaker is only accountable to the committee Jon. It is never to individual owners (although that may be the case if you do act for them as letting agent). You can do what you have done is my take.

  3. Margaret

    Can the strata committee or management company that keeps creating by-laws that are not valid by charges or given a warning to?

  4. James Thompson


    Just wondering if you could provide some insight or an opinion on my current issue

    I live in a strata which I am an owner of the unit. Since living here we have added a new by

    “that no items are permitted in the car port area except for City of Swan garbage bins and vehicles.“

    So the reason we passed this rule is that we had someone allowing two homeless persons to inhabit their own carport. They left and the strata manager who also owns two units decided this would be a good by law

    So, the carport area, forms part of my lot, so it’s my private property and respectively each unit has one. The carports are not any part of common property.
    The drawings also don’t call the area a carport, it’s just part of my property.

    Recently, I’ve been warned by the strata manager that I was in breach of this by law and threatened me with SAT fines.

    I have continued to use my carport in a reasonable and clean manner as I believe this by law to be invalid. I think it’s unreasonable that the by law, which he seems to only call upon when he’s selling or letting his unit, is unfair. It stops me using the carport for any other usage.
    I have no problem with keeping it tidy and safe but controlling my area like this is unfair. We passed this rule as Louis said he couldn’t enforce the prior issue otherwise, that being the issue with people living in the carport.(I told him, it’s not a habitable area, that should have been reason enough)

    Without me getting into too much detail, what is your thoughts on this. Do you think this by law may be invalid? How would I discuss this with the strata manager..

    I really appreciate any help you can provide, I have a pensioner partner so cannot afford any costly legal fees. I can only offer my technical advice as an electronics and computer tech in exchange,

    In Western Australia

    Much appreciated
    Kind regards

    James T