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Works & Improvements

What is Works and Improvements?

A very common situation in strata and community titles schemes arises when an owner, or the committee or body corporate, wishes to undertake works to lots or common property within the scheme. 

The rules are very different depending on who is putting forward the proposal, what is proposed and how it impacts on lots or the common property. It is important to ensure that you obtain the appropriate approval required for your proposal, failing which you could find yourself in breach of the by-laws and forced to remove the improvement and make good the property at your cost. 

At Small Myers Hughes, our lawyers are experts at carefully considering what is being proposed and ensuring that all legislative and by-law requirements are met. We draft appropriate and reasonable conditions in relation to the grant authorising the improvements to ensure that relevant parties are appropriately and adequately protected. 

By ensuring that the proposal is correctly framed, we place you in the strongest possible position should you wish to challenge any refusal to approve your proposal. There is an obligation on bodies corporate in Queensland to act ‘reasonably’, an issue and concept which has been litigated all the way to the High Court in the matter of Ainsworth v Albrecht [2016] HCA 40. 

We have acted for many lot owners who have sought to challenge a body corporate’s refusal to their renovations in the Commissioner’s Office, with great success in obtaining orders from an adjudicator overturning the refusal. Our strong results in this area are due, in large part, to the comprehensiveness of the motions we assist clients to prepare and submit to the body corporate. For this reason, we recommend you seek to engage us from as early as possible in the process to give your proposed project the greatest chance of being successfully approved (whether by the body corporate or subsequent order of an adjudicator). 

Where a proposal also requires the body corporate consent to the lodging of a development application with council, we can also assist in advocating your position with the body corporate to obtain the necessary approval, enabling you or your town planner to promptly lodge and submit the development application with council and prevent undue delay to the project.