10 ways unit owners can avoid stiff fines

Queensland unit owners must be aware of the changes and updates made to body corporate laws over the past six months because otherwise stiff penalties apply for non-compliance, according to Archers Body Corporate Management director Andrew Staehr.

Regular communication between the body corporate and unit owners is the most effective way to avoid penalties, to remain abreast of legislation changes, agreements and general changes within the complex, said Staehr.

It’s also important to be time efficient in the meetings, so unit owners can squeeze in some time to attend, he said.

Staehr offers his top 10 tips to ensure body corporate meetings are short and sweet while still covering the important issues:

1. Start your meeting on time – it may seem obvious but waiting for latecomers is often the biggest problem and only reinforces to them that they can be late next time.

2. Create an agenda – arrange it so you’re dealing with the most pressing matters first, in particular matters of compliance.

3. Write notes about every item on your agenda and stay on track – avoid raising new business in a meeting unless it’s absolutely essential, and only at the end of the meeting.

4. Circulate your agenda and reports before the meeting – everyone will arrive prepared.

5. Circulate motions before the meeting

6. Set deadlines – if owners communicate any concerns or information before meetings, managers have time to incorporate it into the agenda and ensure it gets discussed.

7. Ensure the chairperson chairs the meeting

8. Avoid open discussions – each member should be given the opportunity to have their say through the chair. Once a decision has been made on a topic move on to the next matter.

9. Consider using technology – teleconferencing and video conferencing can be good to keep people focused.

10. Stick to your timeframes – when everyone is aware of an impending deadline they’ll be more inclined to deal with matters quickly and efficiently.