Building Management Statements (BMS) Explained

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What Is A Building Management Statement?

The Building Management Statement (BMS) is a document that governs how shared facilities in a subdivided property are accessed, maintained and funded. A BMS is normally utilized in strata titled properties but a property does not have to be ‘stratafied’ in order to be regulated by a BMS.

Essentially, it is an agreement between two or more entities that share and maintain a particular area or service within a building.

They are used when there are shared facilities like shared access ways, stairs, elevators, water supplies, fire safety equipment etc.

It is a key mechanism of mixed-use buildings that contain retail and commercial lots as well as residential units. The BMS is vital in avoiding potential operational problems and internal conflicts.

A BMS must be registered over at least two lots, at least one of which must be a volumetric lot.

Volumetric lots

A volumetric lot is created by the subdividing air space using survey reference points, mostly based on the Australian Height Datum.

For example, a 10-story building that contains retail space on the ground floor, commercial units on floors 1 & 2 and residential lots on floors 3 – 10.

The retail, commercial and residential components will each be contained within a volumetric lot. The original owner (usually the developer) of these lots will then register a BMS over them.

A BMS is registered under the Land Titles Act 1994 and identifies the lots to which the terms apply.

The BMS must contain provisions about the following:

  • the supply of services to lots;
  • rights of access to lots;
  • rights of support and shelter;
  • insurance arrangements.

And may contain provisions about:

  • establishment and operation of a management group;
  • imposition and recovery of levies, how levy amounts are to be kept and how levy amounts are to be spent;
  • property maintenance;
  • architectural and landscaping standards;
  • dispute resolution;
  • rules for common services and facilities;
  • administrative arrangements;
  • arrangements for accomplishing the extinguishment of the statement;
  • proposed future development.

BMS Decision Making

Owner representation and voting rights are unique to your BMS and need to be fully understood in decision making.

For Bodies Corporate, contributions towards BMS decisions are made via a representative who is usually the Chairperson, or a person elected by each associated party as stipulated within the BMS.

Committees should direct their representative on how to vote on BMS matters to be decided or ratify decisions made when prior direction was impractical in the circumstances.

If a decision is a restricted matter for the Body Corporate Committee, a general meeting should be called for the appropriate approval to be sought.

This type of approval will usually apply to decisions that will affect the right and obligations of all owners within the Body Corporate bound by BMS terms and decisions.

BMS Disputes

As a BMS dispute does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (“BCCMA”) or Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980 (“BUGTA”), disputes cannot be referred to the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management.

Instead, BMS disputes can only be resolved via the dispute resolution provisions of the BMS (if any) or through a court of law.

Amending a BMS

As a BMS does not fall under the BCCMA or BUGTA jurisdiction any amendments to a BMS must be done so through the mechanisms provided for in the BMS (if any) or through a resolution that is unanimously passed between all associated parties.

The amendments are then lodged as a supplement or appendix to the original BMS – unlike a community management statement where the document is amended and lodged again.

For more information

For more information on building management statements, or if you require assistance on developing a BMS, please get in contact with our development team.

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