The role of the Chairperson in a body corporate committee

Chairperson

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The chairperson of the body corporate often plays a leading role in the committee and the body corporate community more generally. It is a volunteer position which can be very rewarding, but also can take a significant investment of time and effort.  

In this article we look at the roles and responsibilities of the body corporate chairperson, including the variables that impact the time and effort commitment. 

Elected chairpersons: background & motivations

Owners elected as chairpersons frequently bring a wealth of experience and skills to the position. Many come from professional or leadership backgrounds, such as: 

  • School teachers, who are adept at managing groups and fostering cooperative environments. 
  • Police officers, who possess strong organisational and decision-making skills. 
  • Business owners, who have experience in strategic planning and resource management.

In addition to professional experience, chairpersons often have: 

  • A strong vision for the body corporate community. 
  • Leadership skills in specific areas relevant to the needs of the body corporate. 
  • Experience in other chair roles, providing them with a solid foundation in leadership and governance. 

Occasionally, the role is filled by someone simply because no other owners were willing to step up. Despite the diversity in backgrounds and motivations, there are no formal prerequisites for becoming a chairperson. Every new building needs a chairperson, and every chairperson has a first time in the role. 

Responsibilities of the chairperson

Legislation outlines the chairperson’s role in straightforward terms: they chair or run body corporate meetings and have the authority to sign documents on behalf of the body corporate. However, the practical responsibilities of the chairperson extend beyond these legal duties.  

Typically, a chairperson:

  • Works closely with the body corporate manager
  • Coordinates with the on-site manager or caretaker (if applicable)
  • Leads the general agenda for the committee
  • Facilitates committee meetings by leading discussions
  • Delegates projects
  • Speaks at the Annual General Meeting (AGM): Providing owners with an overview of the committee’s activities and achievements over the past year.

While these tasks are not formal requirements of the chairperson, they provide a realistic picture and expectations of the role. 

Variability in the role

The exact duties and workload of the chairperson can vary significantly depending on several factors, including: 

  • Size and complexity of the building
  • Community dynamics
  • Annual objectives and projects

Every body corporate is unique, and the chairperson’s role must adapt to these varying needs and circumstances. 

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