Body Corporate Entry Power

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Receive an obligation-free proposal

We offer an obligation-free quote.

The first step is a short phone or in-person meeting to better understand the needs of your committee and scheme. This will only take around 10 minutes.

From there, we’ll put together a tailored proposal, including our easy-to-understand fee package.

Submit our proposal form, including the best contact time, and we’ll be in touch.

Receive an obligation
free proposal

We'll need to get some details about your building. Let us know the best time to contact you.
Most people are aware that a landlord or property manager, by providing a rental entry notice, can gain access to a rental property. But did you know a body corporate also has entry power?

Applicable to both owner-occupiers and tenants, certain ‘emergency’ circumstances will allow a committee to enter a lot, without notice.

What areas can the body corporate enter using this power?

The body corporate can use this power to enter any part of the scheme land, provided entry is correctly authorised and reasonably necessary. This includes the inside of all rooms within the dwelling, as well as exclusive use areas like a balcony, courtyard, storage area, or garage.

When can the entry power be used?

The legislation sets out two reasons when this entry power can be used:

  1. To inspect the lot or common property to ascertain whether work the body corporate is authorised or required to carry out, is necessary; or
  2. To carry out work the body corporate is authorised or required to carry out.
You’ll notice both reasons reference the word ‘work’, as it is important the body corporate committee only exercise this power in relation to physical work, like maintenance or repairs, that is required.

Example 1 – Water is coming through the ceiling of a unit, causing damage and electrical issues. As an emergency, the body corporate can, without notice, enter the unit above with a master key. This will be for the sole purpose of inspecting the lot to determine the cause of the leak in order to make repairs – regardless of whether it is a body corporate responsibility or a lot owner’s responsibility.

Example 2 – The body corporate inspected the fire doors of an apartment building, and some require adjustment or replacement. This work requires access to each apartment for a brief time to carry out repairs to the door. The body corporate issues a non-urgent entry notice for a date 14 days in the future. They can access all lots using a master key, whether the owner or tenant is at home or not.

How much notice is required?

In an emergency, the body corporate may use its entry power at any time, with or without notice to the owner or resident. At all other times considered a non-emergency, the body corporate must give at least 7 days written notice to the occupier of the lot.

An emergency is considered a serious situation where there is a real risk of damage to health or property.

Is there a form?

Unlike tenancy entry, there is no specific form for a body corporate to enter a lot. However, unless it is an emergency, the body corporate must give at least 7 days’ notice in writing to the tenant or owner-occupier.

BCsystems can provide a template, available on request for this purpose that sets out the date, time, and purpose of the entry, along with any preparation work that the owner or resident should do before the visit.

Can the entry be refused?

No. The entry notice cannot be refused. The law states “a person must not obstruct an authorised person who is exercising or attempting to exercise powers under this section”. Obstruction of an entry notice currently carries a statutory fine of $2,875 which can be imposed by the Magistrates Court.

In addition to the fine, Queensland Police may be called to assist in gaining entry to a lot under circumstances where work is necessary and the person has refused entry, or is likely to try and obstruct the entry.

Is there overlap with a rental tenancy entry power?

The body corporate’s power to enter the lot and exclusive use area does not discriminate between owner occupiers, tenants, or commercial use lots. The body corporate’s power is found in the body corporate legislation, and applies to any type of property occupier within a body corporate property.

For residential properties, the residential tenancy law provides a separate power to the landlord or rental agent to enter a rental property for certain purposes (like maintenance or inspection). This means that a rental tenant within a body corporate property may receive two different types of entry notice, and is required to comply with both types, as long as they are given correctly.

For example, the rental agent may issue a rental tenancy entry notice for a routine inspection on Monday, and the body corporate may issue a separate entry notice to test the fire detection system on Tuesday.

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