'What about Me? It Isn't Fair': The Mantra of Queensland Bodies Corporate in the Management and Letting Rights Sphere — An Investigation into the Limited Statutory Termination Rights

2020-02-08T08:16:11Z (GMT) by Melissa Pocock
Multi-owned properties are an increasingly popular housing product in Australia. With the growth, a supporting industry has flourished, particularly in Queensland. Management and letting rights ('MLR'), as the arrangement is colloquially known, facilitates the provision of caretaking services to the community titles scheme ('CTS') and letting services for investment owners. With the growth of MLR, the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (Qld) ('BCCM Act') and regulation modules have been progressively amended to increase protections for MLR contractors and their financiers. This article reviews the MLR-related literature and concludes that the interests of both lot owners and the CTS governing body (the body corporate) have been subjugated to the commercial imperatives of the original owner, the MLR contractor and financiers. Key court and tribunal decisions are analysed to demonstrate a high threshold before the body corporate may validly terminate MLR arrangements. Consequently, the embedded statutory protections may trap a body corporate into inappropriate or undesirable contractual arrangements created and sold by the original owner before its establishment. Arguably, the BCCM Act has failed in its secondary consumer protection objective when bodies corporate are bound in the long-term by a statutory system designed to protect others.