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Commissioners Corner – By-Laws Enforcement (QLD)

Last time I wrote about the importance of making sure you have the right by-laws before taking enforcement action for a contravention notice of a body corporate by-law. So I consider it timely to outline the fundamentals of the by-law enforcement process in this article.

A misunderstanding my Office’s Information Service hears often is where bodies corporate rely on property managers or the onsite manager to enforce the scheme’s by-laws against tenants in lots they manage.

While by-laws apply equally to owners and occupiers (tenants) in the scheme, the body corporate has the obligation under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM Act) to enforce its by-laws as included on the community management statement for the scheme including against any tenants.

If an owner or occupier identifies an alleged contravention of a by-law by another owner or occupier in the scheme, they must firstly issue a Body Corporate and Community Management (BCCM) Form 1 to the body corporate. This form notifies the body corporate that the complainant has identified an alleged contravention and requests the body corporate enforce its by-laws against the named offender.

The body corporate, normally through its committee, has 14 days to advise the complainant if it has issued a contravention notice to the alleged offender. There is no compulsion on the body corporate to take this action unless it is reasonably satisfied that a contravention has occurred. If the body corporate does not make a decision to enforce the by-law, the complainant may then take other steps which include:

  • lodging a conciliation application with my office against the body corporate requesting it enforces the by-law against the alleged offender; and
  • writing to the alleged offender outlining the contravention they identified seeking it be remedied and if not, file an application for conciliation with my office against the alleged offender directly.

If the body corporate is satisfied that a contravention has occurred it makes a decision to issue a contravention notice to the alleged offender. If the alleged offender is a tenant, the body corporate must issue the notice to the tenant directly and give a copy of the notice to the owner.

If the contravention is not remedied as outlined in the notice, the body corporate may then choose to either:

  • lodge a conciliation application with my office against the alleged offender; or
  • proceed to the Magistrates Court for a penalty to be imposed on the alleged offender.

Disputes about by-law contravention are one of the top six my Office handles through the conciliation and adjudication process. Unfortunately a large number of these applications are received where the preliminary procedures outlined in the legislation, and discussed briefly above, have not been followed. Therefore I find, as Commissioner, that I must reject the application for failure to meet the requirements of self resolution. To assist persons considering lodging by-law enforcement applications I have compiled Practice Direction 6 which outlines the requirements of such an application to help you ensure you have met all the legislative requirements before lodging the application.

This practice direction includes a flowchart which outlines the by-law enforcement process provided in the BCCM Act.

There is also a dedicated webpage to enforcing by-laws on our website at under the heading ‘By-laws’. The webpage also provides links to all the necessary forms to undertake these steps, including the BCCM Form 1, and contravention notices (Form 10 and 11), which may be used by the body corporate.

For queries on this topic, or body corporate matters generally, visit our website or contact the Information Service of my Office on 1800 060 119.

This article was contributed by Chris Irons, Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management.

Leave a Reply

  1. Douglas Jones

    Thank you for this very useful information – I will send it to our resident manager and members of our committee.

  2. Joan C

    There are huge gaps and anomalies in Strata Title bylaws and legislation. Owners generally have little power to protect their investments. Management rights are pretty water-tight in their protection and much works needs to be done to give all parties equal rights.

  3. Simon Stewart

    We have found that a resident manager can form a bias against one particular tenant and wish then to breach the tenant at every opportunity. We don’t see a BCCM Form 1 presented to the committee just an email saying they have done this and we want a breach notice issued. What power does the Body Corporate committee have to request evidence be presented and under go an investigation such as to talk to the tenant prior to accepting that a breach order should be issued.

  4. Harry Roberts

    The process that a complex manager or’ Body Corporate Secretary has to go through [according to The Act] to issue a notice of breach can be time consuming and’ at the end of the day “especially with tenants who go through rental agents” are let off the hook with all types of excuses, denials and, un-true stories told to the rental agent. I have lost count of the number of breaches “especially by tenants” that go nowhere using the “recommended system” and’ tenants [especially seasoned tenants] know how to get out of receiving a infringement notice from their rental agent. With the tenant or tenants continuing to ignore the by-laws of the complex. Even the owners of the rented units do not want to get involved. It is time a better and, simpler system is designed to allow a much faster and’ less time consuming for a complex manager and or’ Body Corporate Secretary to issue a breach [preferably immediately it has occurred]

  5. Chris Irons, Commissioner

    Hello and thank you to those of you who have left comments.

    Body corporate legislation is currently under review. For further information about this review, please visit

    If you have a particular enquiry about body corporate legislation – for example, a query about the process to enforce a by-law – please contact my Office on 1800 060 119 or

  6. Joyce Delarosa

    If you would like to grow your know-how just keep visiting this website and be updated with the most recent news posted here.

  7. Marilyn Robinson

    Could you please advise what the current legislation is regarding swimming pool hours & the age an unsupervised child can enter a pool or pool enclosure. Our by laws have just been changed including the pool hours. I was told this cannot be reverted back to the original times etc that have been in place since the complex was built 12 years ago. Thank you.

    1. Chris Irons, Commissioner

      Hi Marilyn, we don’t regulate swimming pool hours or the ages where a child can swim, although we can assist you regarding general information about by-laws. I recommend you contact the Information and Community Engagement Unit of my Office on 1800 060 119 for further information.