Body Corporate Tips: Emergency Expenditure

Image: Aria Property Group – Oxley + Stirling Residences

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full – Henry Kissinger.

Emergencies happen. Even in bodies corporate.

A water pipe may burst. Decayed structural wooden beams may be uncovered.

Sometimes, the cost to deal with the emergency exceeds the committee spending limit and there is not enough time to hold a general meeting to approve the expenditure.

Helpfully, the legislation regulating most bodies corporate in Queensland provides a solution.

The committee can apply to the Commissioner’s Office to obtain an order authorising the expenditure (or shortening the time period to hold a general meeting).

An Adjudicator from the Commissioner’s Office will make an order authorising the expenditure where they are satisfied it is an emergency – defined by The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as, “A situation…that arises unexpectedly and requires urgent action…”.

Events previously accepted by Adjudicators as an emergency include:

1. the imminent expiry of a scheme’s insurance policy;

2. the need to carry out works to a fire detection and alarm system;
3. a foreshadowed court application, to which the body corporate would be a respondent;

Events previously not accepted by Adjudicators as an emergency include:

1. continuing water leaks, where the body corporate had been on notice for some time;

2. a malfunctioning elevator, where it was still operating;

3. the need to accept a quote by a certain date, so that the contractor could complete the work prior to the peak holiday season.

However, every application is considered on its own merits.

Author: Nicholsons Solicitors

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